Friday, September 29, 2017

U.S. Senate Approves RAISE Family Caregivers Act

Dana Halvorson

Earlier this year, Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) re-introduced the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act (S. 1028) in the U.S. Senate.  Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) and Michael Bennet (D-CO) are original co-sponsors. This legislation, which AHCA/NCAL supports, would implement the federal Commission on Long-Term Care’s bipartisan recommendation that Congress require the development of a strategy to support family caregivers. The bill would create an advisory body to bring together representatives from the private and public sectors to advise and make recommendations. The strategy would identify recommended actions that communities, providers, government, and others are taking and may take to recognize and support family caregivers and be updated. On Tuesday, September 26, of last week, the full U.S. Senate considered and passed this legislation with an amendment in the nature of a substitute by unanimous consent.  The amendment in the nature of substitute is consistent with The RAISE Family Caregivers Act - H.R. 3759 recently introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives. The legislation now awaits full House consideration. 

AARP notes that about 40 million family caregivers provide about $470 billion annually in unpaid care to their loved ones. According to the Caregiving in the U.S. 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, and 6.5 million family caregivers assist both adults and children.

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