NPR: What’s in Biden’s $400 Billion Plan to Support Families’ Long-Term Health Needs (April 9, 2021)
President Biden has put forward a bold proposal to spend $400 billion over eight years on home and community-based services — a major part of his $2 trillion infrastructure plan. Currently, 53 million family members provide most of the care that vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities require — without being paid and often at significant financial and emotional cost. According to AARP, family caregivers on average devote about 24 hours a week to helping loved ones and spend around $7,000 out-of-pocket on that care. Based on the best information available, between 4 million and 5 million people receive Medicaid-funded home and community-based services — a fraction of those who need care.
Among other questions, how will inequities of the current system — for instance, the lack of accessible services in rural counties or for people with dementia — be handled? “We want to see funding to states tied to addressing those inequities,” says Amber Christ, directing attorney of the health team at Justice in Aging, an advocacy organization.