Now that our congressional representatives have returned to Washington, it’s time for them to take action to help America’s greatest support system — our family caregivers.
AARP is joining with more than 50 organizations to urge the U.S. House of Representatives to pass the RAISE Act — bipartisan, commonsense legislation that would bring together a range of stakeholders to help identify actions that will recognize and support America’s 40 million family caregivers.
To show our unified support for those caring for a family member, neighbor or friend who has limitations in everyday activities, we delivered a joint letter to Capitol Hill. You can read the text of the letter below.
We add our voices to the thousands of constituents who have contacted their U.S. representatives directly, sharing with them why the RAISE Act is important to families and urging them to pass the bill NOW.
Urge YOUR U.S. representative to pass the RAISE Act now. Call 844-259-9351 toll-free or click here.
September 6, 2016
Chairman John Kline Ranking Member Robert C. Scott
Committee on Education & the Workforce Committee on Education & the Workforce
2176 Rayburn House Office Building 2101 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515 Washington, DC 20515
Dear Chairman Kline and Ranking Member Scott:
We, the undersigned groups, write in support of the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act. This bipartisan legislation was passed unanimously by the Senate last December, and has been referred to the Committee on Education and the Workforce. We urge the House of Representatives, facing a short legislative calendar the remainder of this year, to make this bill a priority and take prompt action on this important legislation.
Family caregivers are the backbone of services and supports in this country. They help make it possible for older adults, people with disabilities, and veterans to live independently in their homes and communities. In 2013, about 40 million family caregivers provided unpaid care valued at about $470 billion to adults who needed help with daily activities, more than total Medicaid spending that year. About 3.7 million family caregivers provide care to a child under age 18 because of a medical, behavioral, or other condition or disability. Our country relies on the contributions family caregivers make and should recognize and support them. By supporting family caregivers, we can help people live at home where they want to be, helping to delay or prevent more costly care and unnecessary hospitalizations, saving taxpayer dollars.
The RAISE Family Caregivers Act (S. 1719/H.R. 3099) would implement the federal Commission on Long-Term Care’s bipartisan recommendation that Congress require the development of a national strategy to support family caregivers. The bill would create an advisory body to bring together members of the private and public sectors to advise and make recommendations. The strategy would identify specific actions that communities, providers, employers, government, and others can take to recognize and support family caregivers.
We urge you to support passage of the RAISE Family Caregivers Act in September. This bill is a commonsense step to help support family caregivers nationwide. We are committed to working with you to pass and enact this important bipartisan legislation as soon as possible this year.
Alzheimer’s Foundation of America
American Academy of Family Physicians
American Academy of Pediatrics
American Association on Health and Disability
American Geriatrics Society
American Health Care Association
American Heart Association/American Stroke Association
American Network of Community Options and Resources (ANCOR)
American Society on Aging
America’s Health Insurance Plans
Association of Jewish Family and Children’s Agencies
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Caregiver Action Network
Caring Across Generations
Center for Elder Care and Advanced Illness, Altarum Institute
Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation
Family Caregiver Alliance
The Jewish Federations of North America
Justice in Aging
Lutheran Services in America
Lutheran Services in America Disability Network
Medicare Rights Center
National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys
National Adult Day Services Association (NADSA)
National Alliance for Caregiving
National Association for Home Care & Hospice
National Association of Area Agencies on Aging (n4a)
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Association of Social Workers (NASW)
National Center for Assisted Living
National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare
National Council on Aging
National Hispanic Council on Aging
National Multiple Sclerosis Society
National Partnership for Hospice Innovation
National Respite Coalition
Oral Health America (OHA)
OWL-The Voice of Women 40+
Paralyzed Veterans of America
Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, GSW
SAGE (Services and Advocacy for GLBT Elders)
The Coalition to Transform Advanced Care
The Elizabeth Dole Foundation
cc: Members of the Committee on Education and the Workforce
The Honorable Paul Ryan
The Honorable Nancy Pelosi
The Honorable Kevin McCarthy
The Honorable Steny Hoyer
Nancy LeaMond, chief advocacy and engagement officer and executive vice president of AARP for community, state and national affairs, leads government relations, advocacy and public education for AARP’s social change agenda. LeaMond also has responsibility for AARP’s state operation, which includes offices in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
You can follow her on Twitter @NancyLeaMond.