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September 21, 2021Advocacy Matters

HCBS and the Build Back Better Infrastructure Package

Disability Matters with Joyce Bender

September 21, 2021

#AdvocacyMatters Segment

HCBS and the Build Back Better Infrastructure Package

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The U.S. House and Senate returned from their August recess with a full agenda related to budgets and finance as they focus their work on funding the federal government when the new fiscal year begins on October 1, raising the debt ceiling, and finding votes to pass the bipartisan infrastructure package. The Majority Leader of the U.S. House has issued a Dear Colleague Letter outlining the major initiatives expected on the House floor before the end of September. A copy of the letter can be found with our #AdvocacyMatters segment for today at www.disabilityrightspa.org.

While all these budget initiatives impact people with disabilities, today, we want to talk about the progress being made to increase funding for Home and Community-Based Services through the Build Back Better infrastructure package. Disability advocates hope the Build Back Better package will increase funding for Home and Community Based Services by $400 billion dollars.

The U.S. Senate passed a $1 billion dollar infrastructure package in mid-August with bipartisan support. Unfortunately, the package did not contain the $400 billion initially promised for Home and Community-Based Services.

Following the Senate vote, over 45 national disability organizations sent a letter to House and Senate leadership outlining the need for the $400 billion dollar investment in HCBS. We have a copy of that letter included with our #AdvocacyMatters segment for today. Just find today’s segment on our homepage at www.disabilityrightspa.org and click on the link to the letter.

The letter argues that there should be no debate over how much funding should be available for HCBS. The requested $400 billion investment for HCBS would close the gaps in services, open waiting lists for HCBS, and stabilize the direct support care workforce by increasing pay and benefits.

The House is getting ready to move the infrastructure package with only $190 billion included for HCBS. $190 billion falls short of President Biden’s promise and falls short of what disability advocates say is necessary to increase pay and close gaps in services.

#AdvocacyMatters.

We need your help to include the $400 billion dollar investment in HCBS in the Build Back Better infrastructure package. The Arc of US has an action page dedicated to building national support for HCBS. You can visit the page and click on the link to call or send a letter to your lawmakers. You can find the link to The Arc’s action page by visiting www.disabilityrightspa.org. Look for today’s #AdvocacyMatters segment to find the link.

 

U.S. House Majority Leader’s Dear Colleague on House Schedule

Letter to Congressional Leaders for HCBS Funding

The Arc of US HCBS Action Page

The Arc of US Call to Action