Wednesday, September 21, 2016

AHCA/NCAL Adds Name to RAISE Act Hill Letter

Dana Halvorson

On September 6, AHCA/NCAL and over 50 national organizations sent a letter of support to the House Committee on Education & the Workforce on the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S. 1719/H.R. 3099).

Introduced by Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), Senator Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Representative Gregg Harper (R-MS-3), and Representative Kathy Castor (D-FL-14), this legislation would implement the federal Commission on Long-Term Care’s bipartisan recommendation that Congress require the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers. The bill would create an advisory body to bring together relevant federal agencies and others from the private and public sectors to advise and make recommendations. The strategy would identify specific actions that government, communities, providers, employers, and others can take to recognize and support family caregivers and be updated annually. Last December, the full U.S. Senate considered and passed this legislation. It now awaits House consideration. The letter urges the Committee to make this bill a priority, and to take prompt action on it this month.

According to AARP, in 2013, about 40 million family caregivers provided unpaid care valued at about $470 billion to adults who needed help with daily activities, more than total Medicaid spending that year. According to the Caregiving in the US 2015 study from the National Alliance for Caregiving and AARP, about 3.7 million family caregivers provide care to a child under age 18 because of a medical, behavioral, or other condition or disability.

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