National Engagement

Federal Caregiving Legislation

Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act
Public Law No. 115-119
Requires the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop, maintain and update an integrated national strategy to recognize and support family caregivers. Brings together relevant federal agencies and others from private and public sectors to advise and make recommendations regarding the national strategy.
Sponsor: Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
RAISE Law Letter

Credit for Caring Act
H.R. 2505 and S. 1151
Provides a tax credit of up to $3,000 for qualified families to help defray the costs of caring for a loved one. This credit would be available to caregivers of persons across the lifespan (adult or for a child with a disability).
Sponsor: Representative Tom Reed (R-NY); Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA)
Letter of Support

Family and Medical Insurance Leave (FAMILY) Act
H.R. 947 and S. 337

Provides workers with up to 12 weeks of partial income when they take time for their own serious health condition, including pregnancy and childbirth recovery; the serious health condition of a child, parent, spouse or domestic partner; the birth or adoption of a child; and/or for military caregiving and leave purposes. The benefit would be administered through a new Office of Paid Family and Medical Leave within the Social Security Administration. Payroll contributions would cover both insurance benefits and administrative costs.
Sponsor: Representative Rosa DeLauro (D-CT); Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY)
Letter of Support

Building Our Largest Dementia Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s (BOLD) 

Would create an Alzheimer’s public health infrastructure across the country to implement effective Alzheimer’s interventions focused on public health issues such as increasing early detection and diagnosis, reducing risk and preventing avoidable hospitalizations. The BOLD Infrastructure for Alzheimer’s Act would also increase implementation of the Healthy Brain Initiative’s Public Health Road Map nationwide by establishing Alzheimer’s centers of excellence, providing cooperative agreements to public health departments, and increasing data collection, analysis and timely reporting.
Sponsor: Senator Susan Collins (R-ME) and Representative Brett Guthrie (R-KY)

VA Mission Act
Public Law No: 115-182
The MISSION Act gives Veterans greater access to health care in VA facilities and the community, expands benefits for caregivers, and improves VA’s ability to recruit and retain the best medical providers.

Lifespan Respite Care Reauthorization Act

H.R. 2535 and S. 1188

The Lifespan Respite Care Program provides competitive grants to state agencies working in concert with Aging and Disability Resource Centers and non-profit state respite organizations to make quality respite available and accessible to family caregivers. This bill amends the Public Health Service Act to reauthorize the Lifespan Respite Care Program at $15 million a year for five years.
Sponsor: Representative James Langevin (D-RI); Senator Susan Collins (R-ME)
Letter of Support

Dignity in Aging Act
Public Law No: 116-131
This bill establishes, reauthorizes, and revises several programs administered by the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Labor relating to care for the elderly.
Among other things, the bill reauthorizes through FY2024 and revises programs that support caregivers of the elderly; informational services, such as pension counseling; nutritional services, such as meal delivery; disease prevention and health promotion services; community and workforce training regarding elder care; and abuse and neglect prevention services.

Other Federal Legislation of Note

NAC supports and tracks the progression of:

Social Security Caregiver Credit Act
1255Provides a social security credit to be added to a person’s total career earnings and used to calculate future social security benefits. This is a progressive benefit for caregivers who spend at least 80 hours a month providing care. This includes caregivers of a parent, aunt, uncle, grandchild, niece, nephew, spouse, or domestic partner.
Sponsor: Representative Nita Lowey (D-NY) and Chris Murphy (D-CT)
Letter of Support

Alzheimer’s Caregiver Support Act
H.R. 2972 and S. 311Provides grants to public and non-profit organizations to expand and improve training and support services for families and caregivers of individuals with Alzheimer’s disease. The bill ensures that grantees provide public outreach on the services they offer under this program and that grantees provide services in a culturally appropriate manner.
Sponsor: Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN)

The Prescription Drug User Fee (PDUFA) Act
H.R. 2430 and S. 934PDUFA was created by Congress in 1992 and authorizes FDA to collect fees from companies that produce certain human drug and biological products. Since the passage of PDUFA, user fees have played an important role in expediting the drug approval process. PDUFA must be reauthorized every five years, and was renewed in 1997, 2002, 2007, and 2012.
Sponsor: Representative Greg Walden (R-OR); Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN)

Creating High-Quality Results and Outcomes Necessary to Improve Chronic (CHRONIC) Care Act of 2017
Public Law No: 115-123Would implement Medicare payment policies to improve management of chronic disease, streamline care coordination, and improve quality outcomes without adding to the deficit. Permanently authorizes Medicare Advantage SNPs. Provides more flexibility in allowable Supplemental Benefits in Medicare Advantage, such as healthy meals and transportation to medical appointments. Expands the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Medicare Advantage Value-Based Insurance Design (VBID) Model to all 50 states. Expands telemedicine benefits in Medicare Advantage.
Sponsor: Senator Orrin Hatch (R-UT)

Congressional Caregiving Champions

Congressional Champions
The Caregiving Champions program seeks to recognize leaders who have raised awareness of the issues facing family caregivers in our society. In general, Champions have incorporated family caregivers into their work on healthcare, healthcare reform, disability, aging, and long-term care issues.

On November 7, 2017, for National Family Caregiver Month, six members of the U.S. House of Representatives stepped away from busy schedules of attending hearings and crafting legislation to share deeply personal stories of their experiences with family caregiving. In addition to being legislators, they are daughters, sons, and spouses who have faced the immense challenges and invaluable rewards of caregiving. As such, they join the more than 34 million Americans counted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the AARP Public Policy Institute who care for a loved one 50 years or older. The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) hosted Congressional Stories of Family Caregiving with the support of The John A. Hartford Foundation and in partnership with AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association, and the National Alliance for Caregiving.

Read more about the briefing.

 

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