Update: January 15, 2021
Last night, the incoming Biden-Harris administration released the first part of its proposed COVID-19 relief plan. It includes many important priorities, including full federal Medicaid funding for administration of vaccines and additional housing and nutrition funding.
It does not at this stage appear to include additional dedicated funding for home and community-based services (HCBS). HCBS funding is urgently needed to help disabled people and older adults live safely in their homes rather than being forced into nursing homes and other congregate settings where COVID-19 is rampant.
You can find the latest on COVID-19 legislation and proposed legislation here and more on advocacy efforts can be found below.
On October 1, the House passed a revised version of the HEROES Act, the COVID-19 relief package it had originally passed in May, in an effort to continue negotiations on much needed additional coronavirus relief and talks between House leadership and the White House have been ongoing. On October 6 President Trump announced a halt to those efforts until after the election, but he has since appeared to backtrack on that.
The needs of the disability community are not addressed in the coronavirus relief proposals that the Administration has to date said it is willing to consider. Specifically, the Administration’s proposals have not included the additional funding for home and community based services (HCBS) that is so desperately needed right now to help people with disabilities and older adults remain safely in their homes rather than being forced into nursing homes and other congregate settings, where infections and deaths from COVID-19 are rampant. We urge everyone to please contact your members of Congress and tell them that disabled people need relief and we need it now!
The House’s revised bill (also known as HEROES 2.0) includes that dedicated HCBS funding and many of our community’s other urgent priorities, like additional funding for Medicaid and for critical housing and nutrition programs. You can find a quick comparison of the revised bill and the Senate’s recent coronavirus proposals here. For more on what is and is not included in the new version of the HEROES Act, check out the list we’ve put together here, which we will continue to update as we review the bill. You can also find additional summaries of the bill on our website. For more on HCBS and why dedicated HCBS funding is so important to the fight against COVID-19, check out our HCBS COVID-19 fact sheet.
Please contact your members of Congress! It’s important that they hear from us about why disability priorities matter! You can email and tweet your members of Congress directly here and you can also find more information below, including call and email scripts.