COVID-19 Advocacy

Update: February 17, 2021

Join us in a disability community day of action today to encourage your members of Congress to include dedicated funding for home and community-based services (HCBS) in the next COVID relief bill! The budget reconciliation bill the House is working on does include this important funding, but we need to make sure that funding remains in the final bill.

The disability community has been fighting for additional HCBS funding since the start of the pandemic. 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.

Contact your members of Congress today! You can email and tweet your Senators and Representative directly here. You can also find more information on contacting your members of Congress, including email and call scripts and sample tweets below.

More on the House’s budget reconciliation bill and other recent coronavirus relief proposals can be found on our legislation page.

Overview

Work on a new coronavirus relief bill began with the release of the Biden-Harris administration’s $1.9 trillion proposed COVID-19 relief plan. The plan included many important priorities, including full federal Medicaid funding for administration of vaccines and additional housing and nutrition funding. It also, importantly, would phase out the subminimum wage, including for people with disabilities.

It did not, however, 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.

Ten Republicans then met with President Biden to discuss a $600 billion proposal. That proposal has so far failed to gain momentum.

Congress has now begun moving forward with new coronavirus relief provided as part of a larger budget reconciliation bill. The relief provided largely matches the Biden Administration’s proposal, but importantly would also include dedicated funding for HCBS. You can find more information on the budget reconciliation bill and other COVID relief proposals on our legislation page

There has been pressure to remove this much needed funding from the bill, so we need to urge members of Congress support HCBS funding and work to ensure it remains in the final bill.

Please take a moment now to contact your members of Congress! It’s important that they hear from us about why this funding matters! A sample email and call script, tweets, and more are included below and you can email your Senators directly here.

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.

Contact Your Members of Congress

URGENT: Join us in a disability community day of action today, Feb. 17, to encourage your members of Congress to include dedicated funding for home and community-based services (HCBS) in the next COVID relief bill! The budget reconciliation bill the House is working on does include this important funding, but we need to make sure that funding remains in the final bill.

The disability community has been fighting for additional HCBS funding since the start of the pandemic. 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. Please contact your members of Congress today and tell them HCBS funding saves lives and we need it now!

Contact Your Members of Congress

  • Email: We’ve put together a portal you can use to email your members of Congress directly here
  • Call: Call the Capitol Switchboard at: (202) 224-3121 (voice) or (202) 224-3091 (tty) and ask to be connected to your members of Congress.
  • Social Media: You can use this tool to easily tweet your members of Congress using our sample tweets below.

Easy Email/Call Script:

Hi, my name is [Name], and I’m from [City, State].

I am [calling/writing] to urge you to make sure dedicated funding for Medicaid home and community based services is included in the final COVID-19 package. It is critical that you to include the needs of disabled people in this package.

We have seen rampant rates of infection and death in congregate settings. Many disabled people rely on HCBS to live in their own homes, but people are struggling to stay there. Without more funding, many more people will be forced into nursing homes and other congregate settings, where they will be at much greater risk of catching COVID-19. The need for dedicated HCBS funding is more urgent than ever.

Thank you for your time. I hope I can count on you to protect your disabled constituents during the COVID-19 pandemic.

[IF LEAVING A VOICEMAIL OR EMAILING: please leave your full street address and zip code. This will ensure your call or email is tallied]

Sample Tweets

[Your Senator’s/Representative’s Twitter Handle] Congress must pass the $1.9 trillion #CovidRelief bill that has targeted funding for #Medicaid #HCBS so that older adults & disabled people can receive the services & supports they need at home, where they are at less risk of #COVID19.  #MedicaidCantWait

[Your Senator’s/Representative’s Twitter Handle] Congress MUST fund Medicaid home and community-based services in the COVID relief bill. #HCBS ensure disabled people can access the services we need safely at home – not in dangerous institutions where #COVID19 outbreaks are rampant. #MedicaidCantWait

[Your Senator’s/Representative’s Twitter Handle] About half of all COVID-19 deaths have occurred in congregate settings. Congress must provide dedicated funding for Medicaid #HCBS so disabled people & older adults can stay safely at home with the services and supports we need. #MedicaidCantWait

[Your Senator’s/Representative’s Twitter Handle] Disabled people are facing serious risks from #COVID19. Congress MUST protect their disabled constituents by providing dedicated Medicaid #HCBS funding in the next COVID relief bill. #MedicaidCantWait

[Your Senator’s/Representative’s Twitter Handle] Congress must fund Medicaid Home and Community-Based Services to meet the emergency needs of people with disabilities and older adults living in the community. #MedicaidCantWait #WeAreEssential

[Your Senator’s/Representative’s Twitter Handle] We need #CovidRelief now, especially additional #HCBS funding to help disabled people access services safely at home, not in institutions w/ severe #COVID19 outbreaks. #DoYourJob & get us #WhatWeNeed! #MedicaidCantWait

[Your Senator’s/Representative’s Twitter Handle] We need #CovidRelief now. #DoYourJob & get us #WhatWeNeed, including additional #HCBS funding! HCBS gives me the power to [your story here]

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