Dear Friends, Family and Advocates,
Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) provide opportunities for Medicaid beneficiaries with intellectual or developmental disabilities, physical disabilities, and/or mental illness to receive services and supports as independently as possible in their own home or community, rather than an institution or other isolated setting. This is where 81% of funding for North Star Community Services comes.
At this time, Congress is negotiating its budget reconciliation bill, which could include an investment of $400 billion dollars for Medicaid’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). However, the House version of the bill has only included $190 billion for the HCBS program, falling far short of the levels promised in the Better Care Better Jobs (BCBJ) Act.
So, while we should celebrate this historic investment in the HCBS program, this level of financing just isn’t enough to stabilize the direct care workforce, the people who are at the heart of our industry and work directly with people with disabilities, the Direct Support Professionals (DSPs). We are facing more recruitment challenges than ever before.
So, with Iowa and the rest of the country still in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the timing of this legislation couldn’t be better! This legislation proposes a historic opportunity to transform the HCBS framework and strengthen the DSP workforce, pay agencies sufficient Medicaid reimbursement rates, and ultimately improve the outcomes for people with disabilities – which is at the core of what North Star does every day.
This isn’t a partisan issue. In fact, this program enjoys wide support on both sides of the aisle, and 81% of voters want to see this funding in the final bill.
Your voice will help up to 5 million Americans (with 800,000+ more on waiting lists) who rely on Medicaid’s HCBS funding for critical support, including those right here at home, who are supported by North Star! It really does take everyone to advocate for the changes that are needed in our industry!
Below are the links to those in Congress for the districts where North Star has a presence. And if you need help writing your message, this link to ANCOR has more information:
It really does take all of us to advocate to see changes to our industry. Below is the information as to who you can contact, and a link to their page where you can send a message. Thank you in advance for your support and advocacy!
House of Representatives
Ashley Hinson (Waterloo, Cedar Falls, Toledo, Vinton, Marshalltown, Waverly) —https://hinson.house.gov/contact
Randy Feenstra (Mason City, New Hampton). – https://feenstra.house.gov/contact
Chuck Grassley — https://www.grassley.senate.gov/contact/questions-and-comments
Joni Ernst — ernst.senate.gov. —https://www.ernst.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/?p=contact