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Casey Examines Ways to Strengthen Community Supports for Seniors and People with Disabilities Living in Rural Areas

PA Witness Testifies About Protecting Medicaid, Supporting Rural Home Health Care Workers

Washington, D.C. - Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, held a hearing entitled, “There’s No Place Like Home: Home Health Care in Rural America.” During the hearing, Senator Casey highlighted his bill, the Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) Infrastructure Improvement Act, which would invest in community supports for older adults and people with disabilities in rural areas through increased Medicaid funding for states.

“In Pennsylvania, there are more than 13,000 older adults and people with disabilities waiting for home care and support services. My bill, the Home and Community-Based Services Infrastructure Improvement Act, aims to change that – to make home based care and services a reality for all who need it. An investment in home health care is an investment in the future of rural America. It is an investment in access to care, an investment in the direct support workforce and an investment in the economy,” said Senator Casey.

Senator Casey invited Francis Adams, a home care worker from Washington, PA, to testify about the barriers to improving home care jobs. “We can’t truly improve the long-term care that seniors and people with disabilities rely on unless we tackle the major obstacles that are holding working people back, including low wages, lack of benefits and basic worker protections and inadequate training,” said Mr. Adams. “It isn’t that we don’t have enough people to do this work that creates a workforce shortage, it is that our country, as a whole, undervalues this work and so nobody wants to fill the positions. We have to fix this. We have to invest in long-term care for all and we have to finally respect the work home care workers do.”

Read more about the HCBS Infrastructure Improvement Act here.