Home care and aging services advocates are clinging to hope that Senate Democrats can salvage the Build Back Better bill, after Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) said over the weekend he wouldn’t vote for the $2 trillion reconciliation package.
Mary Kay Henry, president of Service Employees International Union, promised to keep pushing for the plan that would funnel $150 billion to home-and-community-based services and benefit 740,000 direct care workers represented by the union nationwide.
“Inaction is not an option and we won’t stop fighting for Build Back Better,” Henry said in a statement. “Congress must meet the moment and deliver on their commitments to working people and our communities.”
LeadingAge President Katie Smith Sloan said in a statement that Americans overwhelmingly support investments in aging services.
“It is time for Congress to provide overdue relief for older adults and their families. Build Back Better contains historic investments in home and community-based services, affordable housing for low income older seniors, as well as much-needed measures to address the aging services sector’s severe workforce challenges,” Sloan said.
On Monday, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) vowed to bring a revised version of Build Back Better to the floor of the Senate in the new year, after Manchin played Grinch to fellow Senate Democrats, announcing Sunday he couldn’t support legislation that would add to the national debt and potentially exacerbate inflation.
“If I can’t go home and explain it to the people of West Virginia, I can’t vote for it and I cannot vote to continue with this piece of legislation,” Manchin told Fox News.
Some associations that McKnight’s Home Care Daily Pulse reached out to Monday declined to comment on the prospects of Build Back Better but indicated they hadn’t completely written off hopes of legislation benefiting HCBS passing Congress sometime next year.