“We’re talking about the baby boomers who are retiring, getting older and getting sicker and sicker,” she said. “We are talking about people who have long-distance COVID, who have significant disabilities, who will likely need this service in the long term. “
Lawmakers aim to eliminate the wait list of more than 800,000 people for home and community care under Medicaid by increasing federal matching rates for improved staff and compensation, expanding eligibility and additional services. Currently, states are required to cover certain intermittent home health care, but are not required to cover items such as daily personal care or certain types of therapy.
Advocates estimate that at least $ 250 billion over a decade is needed to adequately fund a large expansion and convince states to commit. Congressional allies like Pennsylvania Democrat Bob Casey, chairman of the Special Senate Committee on Aging, and Rep. Debbie Dingell, D-Mich., Are working to get at least that amount in the final package, which the lawmakers hope to pass by simple majority in the Senate. by the rules of budget reconciliation.
In an interview on Monday, Dingell said Biden assured him last week during his visit to Capitol Hill that the funding was still in the package, but the amount remains uncertain. She declined to say whether she thought $ 190 billion was enough, but expressed opposition to further reducing the number.
“It’s a priority,” she told CQ Roll Call. “I mean, it’s the most popular thing in this whole bill, that people want something to happen.”