Biden Pledges $150B for Home & Community Bases Services
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.
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.
Biden presented 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.”
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.
“The federal government, for the first time in decades, is committed to meaningful action to ensure America’s older adults and families can get the help they need,” she said. “We’re encouraged that the president’s public statements of support for older adults and families are reflected in the numbers released today.”
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.
Republicans immediately denounced the new budget. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the top Republican on the budget committee, said in a statement, “President Biden’s FY2024 budget proposal is a roadmap to fiscal ruin" and asserted that the president “doesn’t seem to give a rip about keeping his promises or securing the fiscal health of our nation.”