Due to some procedural challenges in the Senate that arose during Sunday evening’s vote on the latest COVID-19 funding package, we now have extra time to make our voices be heard on the need for intellectual / developmental disabilities (I/DD) supports to be included in the relief package.
Last night, the Senate was supposed to vote on its latest COVID-19 funding package, which included $75 billion for a Public Health and Social Service Emergency Fund. However, the vote fell short of the required 60 votes to move the package, giving us an extra window of opportunity to ask for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) waivers to be explicitly included in the package. As written, HCBS waivers are not included and there is ambiguity on which “care” providers are eligible for the emergency funding – which means the Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary could impose limitations on which services receive the funds, leaving HCBS supports at risk of not receiving badly needed extra funding for overtime pay, hazard pay, DSP recruitment, paid family and sick leave, support for closed day services, etc.
Please keep up the pressure on Congress – we are hearing from insiders on Capitol Hill that your continued advocacy is making a difference!