(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statement on the inclusion of $12.7 billion in funding for home- and community-based services (HCBS) in the American Rescue Plan, to ensure people with disabilities get the care they need during this pandemic.
“During this pandemic, the disability community has suffered a huge loss of life and tragically high rates of COVID-19 infection. Many people with disabilities who lack access to critical home and community based services have been relegated to institutions and group care settings where the virus has spread rapidly, and they’ve been exposed to dangerous outbreaks. None of this is acceptable, which is why the American Rescue Plan provides resources for home- and community-based services and supports the workforce that provides this important care.
“We can’t fully recover from this crisis if our response leaves anyone behind—including people with disabilities. We’ve got to make sure people with disabilities get the care and support they need to weather this storm—and keep fighting to ensure that all people with disabilities can exercise their right to live independently.”
The American Rescue Plan includes a year-long increase to federal matching funds (FMAP) for home- and community based services, to provide $12.7 billion to help ensure people with disabilities can get the care they need in their own homes, support the home care workforce—including by purchasing PPE and other public health measures—and support transitions out of group care settings and institutions.
Senator Murray long pushed for the COVID response to include funding for HCBS, and is a leader in the Senate in fighting for the disability community.