DNC’s 2016 Platform Prioritizes and Emphasizes the Importance of Home Care
July 29, 2016 12:05 PM
Delegates to the Democratic National Convention this week adopted the Democratic Party’s official 2016 Platform. The Platform emphasizes the importance of home care in ensuring long-term care, and calls for increased support for family caregivers as well as expanding and strengthening the home care work force.
In a section titled, “Ensuring Long-Term Care, Services, and Supports,” the DNC’s 2016 Platform includes the following language emphasizing the importance home and community-based care: “Our country faces a long-term care crisis that prevents too many seniors and people with disabilities from being able to live with dignity at home or in their communities. The vast majority of people who are aging or living with a disability want to do so at home, but face challenges finding and affording the support they need to do so. Programs that emphasize independence rather than institutionalization must be better structured to support them. Democrats will take steps to strengthen and expand the home care workforce, give seniors and people with disabilities access to quality, affordable long-term care, services, and supports, and ensure that all of these resources are readily available at home or in the community.”
The Platform also calls for increasing support for family caregivers and expanding the home care workforce: “Our work and family policies must also help family caregivers. We will ensure that family caregivers have the support, respite care, and training they need to support their loved ones. We will create a strong stable paid caregiving workforce to help meet families' needs, by raising wages, improving access to training, and giving workers the opportunity to come together to make their voices heard in support of a stronger system. We will address the conditions that make it hard for workers with unpredictable or inflexible schedules to meet caregiving responsibilities. We will take steps to expand and strengthen the home care workforce. We will increase investments to make quality childcare more affordable, boost wages for childcare workers, and support the millions of people paying for, coordinating, or providing care for aging relatives or those with disabilities.”
Last year, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton vowed to expand home care, proposing a plan to support family caregivers including a new tax credit and increased support for the Caregiver Respite program (see previous NAHC Report article here).
Every four years, both the Republican Party and Democratic Party adopt platforms during their respective national conventions. In 2012, as well, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) applauded the parties for prioritizing home care. “It is right for home care to be included in both platforms, not only because of the life-saving work done daily at a fraction of the cost of institutions, but because this is a non-partisan issue that will have the most immediate impact on the future of America,” said NAHC President Val J. Halamandaris.
In addition to the language prioritizing home care and caregivers, the DNC’s Platform states that Americans should have access to a public option and those over 55 should be able to opt in to Medicare. The Platform also expresses a commitment to achieving Medicaid expansion “in every state” (nineteen states have not yet expanded Medicaid).
NAHC government affairs staff was in attendance at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Earlier in the election cycle, NAHC approached the Presidential candidates from both parties and invited them to share their views and their records on matters related to long-term care. NAHC has the policy to support candidates from both parties who support home care and hospice.
The DNC’s 2016 Platform is available here.
For a summary of the home care provisions in the RNC’s Platform, see previous NAHC Report coverage here.