President Joe Biden is calling for $150 billion in funding for home- and community-based services over the next decade. The money, which is earmarked in his $6.8 trillion 2024 budget unveiled Thursday, would allow older Americans and those with disabilities to receive personal care services in their homes and improve the quality of jobs for home care workers and family caregivers.
Biden provided highlights of the budget Thursday afternoon to a crowd in Philadelphia, saying it is important to give seniors the choice to age in place, just as his own parents had.
“It’s cheaper if we provide for the ability for them to stay in their homes,” Biden added. “It’s not only the right thing to do, but it’s cheaper for the taxpayers.”
The Home Care Association of America praised the president for recognizing the value of home care in the proposal.
“This budget demonstrates the commitment to ensure all Americans have the opportunity to age in their own homes, living as independently as possible,” HCAOA President Vicki Hoak told McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse in an email.
Separate from the HCBS funding, the proposed budget also includes additional funding to address the healthcare workforce shortage. It funnels $32 million in training for nurse faculty and $28 million in innovative approaches to recruit, support and train the next generation of healthcare providers. The plan would also expand the National Health Service Corps, which provides loan repayment and scholarships to clinicians working in underserved areas.
This is the second time Biden has made a run at HCBS funding. The president proposed $400 billion in home- and community-based services funding as part of his Build Back Better initiative in 2021. The amount was eventually pared back to $150 billion but stalled in the Senate later that year.
Earlier this year, leaders of the National Association for Home Care & Hospice and HCAOA expressed optimism there would be movement in Congress on legislation supporting HCBS.
Still, the president’s budget faces an uphill battle in Congress. Sen. Charles Grassely (R-IA) of the powerful Senate Budget Committee told The New York Times the proposed budget has the “highest sustained levels of taxes, spending and deficits in American history” and is “a roadmap for financial ruin.”
This is a developing story. Please check back later for updates.