Contact: Emily Voorde at firstname.lastname@example.org or 574-286-9733
The American Association of People with Disabilities Applauds Biden-Harris Executive Order on the Care Economy
Today, President Biden signed an historic Executive Order containing over fifty directives to mobilize resources across the federal government to bolster the care economy. This Executive Order increases access to home and community-based services, including for veterans, and to accessible childcare. It also improves job quality for direct support professionals and care workers who make early childhood education and home and community services possible for disabled people across the country and provides support for unpaid family caregivers. AAPD applauds this Executive Order and commends the Biden Administration on their commitment to advancing care and to making our nation one where all Americans, including people with disabilities, can thrive.
People with disabilities engage with all aspects of care infrastructure. Disabled parents and children with disabilities benefit from the increased availability of affordable and accessible childcare. Disabled workers are more likely to need access to paid leave to manage their own health conditions, and when doing so, have lower incomes and savings to rely upon. Working caregivers, including working caregivers with disabilities, must reduce working hours or take leave to meet their caregiving responsibilities. This all too often results in family caregivers, including disabled family caregivers, leaving the workforce and causing families of people with disabilities to experience financial hardship. Family caregivers frequently endure physical and emotional strain, becoming disabled if they were not already, and too often do not receive the respite support they need to sustain themselves. In response to the Administration’s Executive Order, Maria Town, President and CEO of AAPD released the following statement:
For decades, disabled people have fought to live in our homes and communities, not in institutions. A key element to this fight is enhancing wages, benefits, and job conditions for direct support workers who provide the necessary services to ensure community integration. Individuals in this workforce, who are predominantly disabled women of color, must often work multiple jobs with no benefits to make ends meet.
Of course, improving job conditions is only one component of expanding access to home and community based services, as the struggles of workers and the individuals they support are intertwined. Federal agencies, like the Departments of Justice, Health and Human Services, and Housing and Urban Development must use their authority to enforce and advance existing disability civil rights and community integration. Congress must increase funding for Medicaid, which is the primary payer for long-term services and supports. President Biden’s budget proposes investments of $150 billion over 10 years to improve and expand Medicaid home and community-based services. We urge Congress to pass President Biden’s budget and to commit to the improved employment, financial security, and health of our nation through investment in home and community based services, paid leave, and child care. The impact of these executive actions, coupled with future increased public investment in the care economy, will be can and will be felt from individuals to communities alike, ensuring that millions of people can have the resources, tools and opportunity to thrive.
Full text of the Executive Order: https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2023/04/18/fact-sheet-biden-harris-administration-announces-most-sweeping-set-of-executive-actions-to-improve-care-in-history/