Alexandria, Va. — Seniors and their caregivers will be left behind in a $1.9 trillion rescue package that Congress is expected to pass this weekend. Last week, the only proposed funds to support long-term care providers in the American Rescue Plan were eliminated due to “jurisdictional issues,” prior to the House advancing it to the Senate. Now, as the Senate is poised to pass their version of the legislation, the anticipated final package fails to provide any dedicated relief to senior living communities that have been on the front lines, despite their pleas.
“Relief funding for long-term care remains noticeably and alarmingly absent from the legislation’s provisions,” said James Balda, Argentum’s president & CEO. “It’s nonsensical that the providers serving the most vulnerable population during this pandemic have been left without meaningful support in this latest package.”
With the exclusion of senior living in this bill, it elevates the critical need for Provider Relief funds—allocated months ago via the CARES Act—to be distributed swiftly and in full. Relief that has been promised has been slow to be distributed and denials have been processed with no clear explanation. Assisted living communities received little financial relief in comparison to other providers. And to date, they have only received a fraction of what’s been promised.
“The administration needs to step up and ensure this funding is distributed before communities have to start closing their doors,” said Balda. “If communities close, seniors will lose their homes, caregivers will lose jobs, and the financial burden on Medicaid will rise steeply.”
“The pandemic is far from over for the long-term care industry, and providers are continuing to shoulder rising costs,” said Balda. “Given the failure of Congress to consider the needs of seniors and caregivers in this package, there remains a need for targeting support in future legislation and most critically through what remains in the Provider Relief Fund.”
Argentum is the leading national association exclusively dedicated to supporting companies operating professionally managed, resident-centered senior living communities and the older adults and families they serve. Since 1990, Argentum has advocated for choice, independence, dignity, and quality of life for all older adults. Argentum member companies operate senior living communities offering assisted living, independent living, continuing care, and memory care services. Along with its state partners, Argentum’s membership represents approximately 75 percent of the senior living industry—an industry with a national economic impact of nearly a quarter of a trillion dollars and responsible for providing over 1.6 million jobs. These numbers will continue to grow as the U.S. population ages. Argentum’s programs and initiatives are driven by its membership. Learn more at argentum.org.