As our country’s leaders in Washington, D.C. consider passing the Better Care Better Jobs Act (though its fate is currently unknown), which would invest hundreds of billions of dollars into Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), we want to bring attention to how we need to use these dollars to transform our HCBS system. HCBS are valuable services that support people with disabilities and those who are aging across the social determinants of health, both in their home and in their work place. This bill aims to strengthen and expand access to HCBS and support the HCBS workforce (which faces a shortage crisis that long predates the pandemic).
When considering policy changes as it relates to HCBS, we strongly support innovative and transformational changes that promote human rights, a sense of belonging, and self-direction for people who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. We need intentional policy development which centers self-determination and informed decision-making for people who have disabilities. Most importantly, it is essential to center people who have disabilities and their families in the development, implementation, and evaluation of these transformative policies. This not only works to advance the disability justice movement; we will also see a significant return on investment as a country when our fellow citizens who have disabilities are able to contribute and prosper.
We must ask Members of Congress to pass the Better Care Better Jobs Act. Intentional investment in our HCBS system is long overdue. They must pass this bill NOW so that we can move forward together to transform our system and our society so that people who have disabilities know they truly belong in their communities.
Chief Executive Officer, The Arc Minnesota
Letters from the CEO is The Arc Minnesota’s new series of blog posts from CEO Andrea Zuber about our priorities and passions as an organization. Stay tuned for future updates.