Senators Johanns and Alexander and Rep. Walberg Lead Push to Suspend Department of Labor’s New Companionship Rule
Rule could dramatically increase home care costs to seniors and the disabled
Senators Mike Johanns (R- NE) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) were the originators of a Dear Colleague letter that urges the Department of Labor (DOL) to suspend a rule that could dramatically increase costs of non-medical, in-home personal care services, many of which are administered through Medicaid or other state programs. The rule, which would make changes to a long-standing exemption for these personal care services, is scheduled to take effect on January 1, 2015.
Numerous stakeholders have expressed concern that implementation of this sweeping new regulation could disrupt care for seniors and those with disabilities. NAHC and its membership have been urging lawmakers to pressure the Department of Labor to suspend its new companionship rule, and NAHC’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by Senate staff or the Department of Labor.
“At a time when approximately 76 million baby boomers are reaching retirement, the federal government has a compelling interest in containing the cost of long term services and supports and expanding the low-cost care options available to this aging demographic,” the Members wrote. “We are deeply troubled that this rule runs contradictory to those goals. Therefore, we urge you to suspend the rule and work with state agencies and other affected programs to prevent the cost of long term services and supports from soaring.
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