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Some Good News in the World of Long-Term Care

Often, this blog is used to report bad news or a need for action on ageism, long-term care, and social justice issues, just to name a few.


But sometimes, there is good news to report. And one piece of good news is an Executive Order that President Biden recently signed on the issue of long-term care.


Among the things President Biden looked to address in the Executive Order include, but are not limited, to:


  • Identifying strategies to work on increasing compensation and improving job quality for family caregivers, early educators, and long-term care workers.

  • Making care more accessible and affordable for families.

  • Expanding options for care so that families have greater access to a higher quality of long-term care, home care, and community-based care.


Much of the work in this Executive Order is done through the President directing different federal agencies to do certain work that would remain within the bounds of laws already in place; for example, directing that “the Secretary of Health and Human Services, through the Administrator for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), shall issue guidance to States on ways to use enhanced funding to better connect home- and community-based workers who provide services to Medicaid beneficiaries.”


This is good, as it is important for federal agencies to do all they can to transform the picture of long-term care for Americans. In light of the failings in the long-term care industry exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, failings that could’ve been prevented if all levels of government had a closer eye on long-term care, it is important that the agencies our taxpayer dollars go to do the work of doing what they can to prevent another tragedy like COVID-19.


However, it is not enough—Congress also needs to do its part to help deliver positive changes. Even the Executive Order itself acknowledges that only so much can happen without Congress passing substantive legislation addressing these long-term care issues. There’s only so much an Executive Order can do without Congress not just proposing, but passing, laws.


So yes, the Executive Order is good news. But we need more. We need states to act (looking at you, Governor Hochul), and we need Congress to act too.

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