Will New Legislation Help Caregivers?

The “Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act of 2019″ would provide $200 million in state respite care grant funding for the period from 2020 through 2024.

According to Think Advisor’s recent article, “Senate Considers Caregiver Respite Bill,” members of the House passed H.R. 2035 by a voice vote on July 24. The bill was introduced by Representative James Langevin (D-R.I.). H.R. 2035 had four Republican sponsors in the House, as well as twelve Democratic sponsors, according to the bill’s information page on Congress’ website.

The bill seeks to authorize $200 million in funding over the next five years. This will be earmarked to create coordinated respite services for families caring for loved ones with chronic, disabling conditions.

Capitol buildingThe same-named S. 995 is sponsored by U.S. Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME). It is under U.S. Senate committee consideration.

The federal government has provided funding for state respite care programs in the past. However, the funding authorization for the program ended in 2011.

A federal agency—the Administration for Community Living—provided roughly $4 million for the program for this year, according to a Congressional Budget Office analysis of the bill.

“Respite care is an essential part of a comprehensive health care approach, and this legislation will support respite care agencies by providing funding for state grants to improve and expand these services in our communities, improve coordination, and streamline access to programs,” said McMorris Rodgers in a prepared statement.

Respite care programs can give temporary home care or daycare services for families who provide informal care for the elderly, adults with disabilities, or children with special needs.

Reference: Think Advisor (August 8, 2019) “Senate Considers Caregiver Respite Bill”

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