President Joe Biden and his incoming administration have announced an ambitious care plan as a part of what his so-called a “caregiving economy.” The proposed strategy combines the care of elderly and disabled Americans with the care of children, holistically approaching family and paid caregiving into a 10-year, multi-million-dollar package.
A centerpiece of this proposal is to rebalance Medicaid in an effort to provide better coverage for at-home caregiving, where many older Americans hope to stay. It promises to eliminate Medicaid’s 800,000-person waitlist of over 5 years, supplying states with the resources to develop less-expensive alternatives than long-term care facilities.
Along the same line, Biden’s strategy would specifically benefit unpaid family members who care for relatives. Surveys by AARP have found that families spend an average of $7,400 annually on caregiving for their loved ones. To do this, Biden plans to offer a tax credit of up to $5,000 and Social Security credits to help subsidize the costs of household expenses, home modifications, paid caregivers, and new devices or equipment.
Other facets of the plan for elder and childcare include paid family leave, better wages for caregivers, and augmenting general training.
Experts have also noted Biden’s unique, personal understanding of caregiving as instrumental in forming this proposal.
“We’re trapped in a caregiving crisis within an economic crisis within a health care crisis,” Biden acknowledged in a speech on the campaign trail.
His up-close look at caregiving comes from his experiences as a father to injured children and to a son with terminal cancer. He has also mentioned caring for his parents when they were hospice patients in his own home.
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