10.01.14

Johanns, Alexander, Walberg Lead Push For Administration To Suspend Rule That Could Dramatically Increase Home Care Costs To Seniors, Disabled

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sens. Mike Johanns (R- Neb) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) today led an effort urging the Department of Labor (DOL) to suspend a rule that could dramatically increase costs of non-medical, in-home personal care services, many of which are administered through Medicaid or other state programs. The rule, which would make changes to a long-standing exemption for these personal care services, is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015. Numerous stakeholders have expressed concern that implementation of this sweeping new regulation could disrupt care for seniors and those with disabilities.

“At a time when approximately 76 million baby boomers are reaching retirement, the federal government has a compelling interest in containing the cost of long term services and supports and expanding the low-cost care options available to this aging demographic,” the Members wrote. “We are deeply troubled that this rule runs contradictory to those goals.  Therefore, we urge you to suspend the rule and work with state agencies and other affected programs to prevent the cost of long term services and supports from soaring.

“We are committed to protecting care options that maintain the dignity and self-determination of seniors and individuals with disabilities and allow them to receive support in the comfort of their homes at lower costs.”

In addition to Johanns, Alexander and Walberg, the bicameral letter was signed by Sens. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), John Boozman (R-Ark.) , Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), John Cornyn (R-Tex.), Tom Coburn (R-Oka.), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Jerry Moran (R-Kan.), David Vitter (R-La.), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Michael Enzi (R-Wyo.), Rand Paul (R-Ky.), and Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and Reps. Lee Terry (R-Neb.), Todd Rokita (R-Ind.), Rick Crawford (R-Ark.), Cynthia Lummis (R-Wyo.), Adrian Smith (R-Neb.) and Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.). 

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