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Congresswoman Linda Sanchez

Representing the 38th District of CA

Reps. Sánchez, Kelly, and Schrader Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Help Seniors Stay in Their Homes

June 25, 2019
Press Release

Washington, DC – U.S. Representative Linda Sánchez (D-CA), along with Reps. Mike Kelly (R-PA) and Kurt Schrader (D-OR), today introduced the Community-Based Independence for Seniors Act to create a new Community-Based Institutional Special Needs Plan (CBI-SNP) demonstration program. This program would target home and community-based services to low-income Medicare beneficiaries who need help with activities of daily living.

Statement by Rep. Linda Sánchez (D-CA):

“Seniors and their families have to make difficult decisions when it comes to deciding whether or not to stay in the comfort of their home or move into a nursing home. I know this reality firsthand. That is why I am proud to introduce the common sense, bipartisan Community-Based Independence for Seniors Act. This bill would enable seniors to maintain their independence by providing them with the home and community-based services they need to thrive. Without community-based long-term services and supports, which are not typically covered by Medicare, seniors frequently experience negative health outcomes, lose their ability to live independently, and often turn to Medicaid for coverage of long-term care expenses. I am proud to lead this effort to help seniors stay in their homes.”

Statement by Rep. Mike Kelly (R-PA):

“A house is a person’s castle, and it can be a burden for American seniors to leave them for medical or other services. That’s why we need to improve home-based care options for Medicare beneficiaries, who right now aren’t always getting what they need where they need it. I am a proud co-author of the Community-Based Independence for Seniors Act, which will create a program to help us determine the best way to provide such benefits, including delivered meals, adult day care, and housekeeping services, to name a few. America’s seniors have paid into Medicare their entire lives and have earned and deserve the best care we can offer. This bill moves us closer to that goal!”

Statement by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-OR):

“Seniors shouldn’t be forced to spend down their life savings to access the care they need. Too often, we rely on nursing home care as a one-size-fits-all solution while it’s often ineffective and inefficient. I’m proud that we are tackling this problem at a federal level in a way that aligns with evidence-based practices to promote what we have long known, that helping folks live at home provides benefits for everyone. Oregon has been a longtime leader in this area through what we call Project Independence, which does what this bill does, broadens services available to seniors to include vital day-to-day services like home-delivered meals and transportation assistance, bringing down the costs of care and helping seniors stay in their own homes.”

BACKGROUND

The Community-Based Independence for Seniors Act establishes a demonstration program that targets home and community-based care to eligible seniors who need help with two or more activities of daily living. Seniors would receive services specific to their needs, such as home-delivered meals, transportation services, adult day care services, and homemaker services. By targeting services to at-risk seniors, the Community-Based Independence for Seniors Act helps seniors stay in their homes and communities, rather than moving to a nursing home, which can be very expensive and is often not the older adult’s preferred care setting. This bill also helps keep federal and state governments’ costs down as seniors under this program would not need to deplete their resources to be eligible for Medicaid in order to receive home and community-based services.