The Better Care Better Jobs Act was introduced in June this year by President Biden and the vote is expected to impact disability services everywhere in the country.
What is The Better Care Better Jobs Act
In a nutshell – what it does is boost the country’s Home and Community based services (HCBS) by enlarging in-home care based programs with more money allotted to states; while ensuring some programs can run in the long-term.
If this act is passed, there could be sweeping ramifications in the bigger scheme of things for everyone.
The Better Care Better Jobs Act is particularly beneficial for women and people of color. To start, one section of the bill allocates $100 million dollars, while expanding access to Medicaid HCBS, benefiting home-based care manpower. It could be dispersed well within 12 months after the act is passed which would begin plans for access, expansion of the Medicaid HCBS; which will strengthen the home-based care workforce largely made up of low-wage workers, people of color and women.
People like Liz Weintraub, who suffered a lifetime of trauma being told what she can or can’t do is a strong advocate of this program. She was diagnosed with cerebral palsy back in 1966 and was not given a say with the institution she eventually landed up in, stating the Better Care Better Jobs Act would give a chance for reinvigorating disabled people to get the help they need with proper community care.
Liz sums up the Better Care Better Jobs Act as giving these gifted souls a “choice” and a chance to not be left out from the community, to live to their fullest potential.
Here’s Why There’s More to Gain with this Act being Passed
On the flipside though, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey and Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon have given their support of the new bill, as they believe that they are very popular in-home care and community-based services.
As it happened, President Biden initially wanted to allocate $400 Billion for HCBS – as part of his proposal for the American Jobs Plan for the nation’s current and future infrastructure. That is until he was confronted with some stiff opposition with Republican leaders contesting the word “Infrastructure” applicable only to Roads, Railways and Bridges.
Interestingly enough after the HCBS legislation was announced, the White House had passed a $579 Billion infrastructure deal approved by both major parties. However, that does not include any investments for home-based care.
It’s not just a “deal” that will give more leverage to the country’s HCBS landscape, but because of the money being allocated to the in-home care programs, it would ensure the popular policies are lasting.
Katie Smith Sloan announced in a statement this would provide relief to over 40 million Americans who cater to some or any kind of unpaid caregiving to older adults – that’s at an average of 34 unpaid hours a week.
This bill has the potential to generate over 1.1 million jobs through it’s $400 billion investment in HCBS, in addition to 800,000 direct care jobs per year over the next 10 years as per an evaluation by the National Domestic Workers Alliance.
The numbers above show the caregiving jobs sector is set to represent the fastest growing workforce within the American Economy but a lot of them are considering leaving their profession because of the low wages.
However, the plan does have some flaws, with differing funds allocated based on the type or size of community care given, giving an unfair advantage to larger organizations which gives states a motive to move away from them.Despite a few minor setbacks, If enacted, the Better Care BetterJobs Act would substantially increase federal funding for home and community based services for people having disabilities (including the elderly).
With all these probable legislative changes in the works – FieldWorker is the best way to be one step ahead of these changes for the hundreds and thousands of support workers employed with HCBS based programs. Every agency (small and large) can maximize FieldWorker’s unique ability to minimize costs, workload and more through the care coordination solution it provides. Learn more here.