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Casey Introduces Bill to Protect Seniors and People With Disabilities from Coronavirus

Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Poses an Increased Threat to Older Americans and People with Chronic Conditions

Washington, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Ranking Member of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, introduced a bill to mitigate the risks that the coronavirus (COVID-19) poses to seniors and people with disabilities. The Coronavirus Relief for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act would address critical health and financial needs of older adults, people with disabilities, home health workers and family caregivers. U.S. Representative Debbie Dingell (D-MI-12) introduced the bill’s health provisions in the House.

“More than 105 million Americans, approximately 4 out of 10 adults, are at a greater risk if infected with coronavirus (COVID-19), including older adults, people with disabilities and those with underlying health conditions,” said Senator Casey. “The Coronavirus Relief for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act would ensure we are able to adequately respond to the needs of those living in long-term care facilities and in the community while we work to combat this pandemic.”

“Nursing homes and seniors became the image of coronavirus. The front-line workers and family caregivers need our support and resources to protect their health and well-being,” said Congresswoman Dingell. “The Coronavirus Relief for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act will address critical health and economic needs for nursing homes, community-based services, home health care workers, seniors, and people with disabilities who rely on services.”

The Coronavirus Relief for Seniors and Disabilities Act is cosponsored by Senators Cory Booker (D-NJ), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Menendez (D-NJ), Doug Jones (D-AL), Gary Peters (D-MI), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Jack Reed (D-RI), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Tina Smith (D-MN), Jon Tester (D-MT), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Jacky Rosen (D-NV), Ed Markey (D-Ma), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) and Jeff Merkley (D-OR).

The Senate bill would:

  • Increase funding for nursing home surveys and promote infection control;
  • Help low-income seniors afford the cost of treatment if diagnosed with COVID-19;
  • Protect home health workers and promote home and community-based services; and
  • Ensure seniors and people with disabilities maintain access to home-based meals and services.

Read the one pager here.