This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

U.S. House Passes Build Back Better Act

Significant victory for us today, but now the Senate needs to act!

In a narrow vote, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Build Back Better Act, which is the bill we've been advocating for the past several months. The legislation includes a number of significant health care provisions, most notably a $150 billion investment in the Medicaid Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) program. The bill will now be sent to the Senate. 

Per ANCOR, our national trade association, if signed into law, will have a significant impact on community-based I/DD services: 

  • A historic investment of $150 billion for HCBS
  • A six-percentage-point increase in the federal Medicaid match rate over a 10-year period
  • A potential additional two-percentage-point increase in the federal Medicaid match rate for states that implement a program for self-directed care
  • A requirement that states will review payment rates, starting two years after the approval of each state's HCBS improvement plan and then every three years thereafter
  • Permanent reauthorization of the Money Follows the Person program
  • $270 million for a grant program to assist states that choose to phase out 14c certificates that enable providers to pay Medicaid beneficiaries subminimum wages
  • $1 billion over a 10-year period for a grant program to invest in strategies to recruit, retain, and advance the direct care workforce

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) released this statement following the news: 

"AAPD celebrates the passage of the Build Back Better Act by the House. If passed by the Senate and signed into law, this bill would transform the lives of tens of millions of disabled people, older adults, working families, women, people of color, low-income and middle-class people, and many others. 

“Tonight, by voting for the Build Back Better Act, the House of Representatives has taken a major step toward passing one of the most consequential pieces of legislation of our lifetimes. We applaud and thank the Congressional leadership who have overseen this process, especially Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, and Congressman Frank Pallone, for their dedication and persistence.” said Maria Town, President and CEO of AAPD. 

“Now it’s time to finish the job. The Senate must work to swiftly resolve any remaining issues and pass the Build Back Better Act without further delay. Already, too many Americans—people with disabilities, our families, and direct support workers alike—have suffered because of a lack of access to services and support. Without the social infrastructure investments in this bill, the Americans most impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic will not be able to equally participate in the next phase of our economic recovery. It does not matter if we create economic advancement opportunities through the recently signed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act if those opportunities remain inaccessible to people with disabilities because they cannot receive the services they need to thrive in their homes and communities."

The legislation that passed today includes a historic $150 billion dollar investment in home-and community-based services (HCBS), which would be the single-largest investment in the program in its history. This funding will go a long way in answering the call of decades of activism to ensure any disabled or aging person who needs support can get assistance in the comfort of their own homes, while remaining integrated into their communities. 

The bill also includes several disability-focused investments that further the goals of building a more inclusive nation and economy. Among these investments are $300 million in grants for encouraging employers to transition from using 14c certificates to paying at least minimum wage and transforming to competitive integrated employment and $450 million set aside for supportive housing for people with disabilities. Further, the Build Back Better Act requires that the disability community be directly engaged and involved during the implementation of these vital initiatives."

To learn more about this bill, please visit ANCOR's website here.