Walberg, Roberts Fight for Affordable Home Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities

Introduce bill with support of key members of Congress & home care organizations

WASHINGTON, D.C. – October 30, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — U.S. Congressman Tim Walberg (R-Mich.) and U.S. Senator Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) today introduced legislation in the House and Senate to ensure seniors and individuals with disabilities have access to affordable in-home companion care. H.R. 3860, the Ensuring Access to Affordable and Quality Home Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities Act, would reverse harmful Department of Labor rules that place costly regulations on families and caregivers.

“Millions of families depend on companionship services to meet their health care needs,” said Walberg, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Workforce Protections. “Far reaching and costly regulations should not stand in the way of seniors and individuals with disabilities who are unable to care for themselves from receiving quality, affordable care in the comfort of their own homes.”

“Our bill allows those in need of companion care in the home to continue to arrange and pay for individualized care without getting tangled in burdensome and costly labor rules that were meant for other industries,” Roberts said. “We preserve the independence of the elderly and individuals with disabilities in need of affordable care and protect caregivers who want predictable employment arrangements.”

At issue is the Department of Labor’s rule narrowing the long-standing definition of companionship services under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). The rule would void the companionship exemption and overturn a four decade old policy that has assisted elderly and disabled care recipients who need affordable care and caregivers who need stable work arrangements.

The bill has the support of key industry groups and home care organizations including: the International Franchise Association, the National Association of Home Care and Hospice, the Home Care Association of America, and Home Instead, Inc.

House Cosponsors of the bill include: Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-Ind.), Rep. Mo Brooks (R-Ala.), Rep. Lynn Jenkins (R-Kan.), Rep. Phil Roe, M.D. (R-Tenn.), Rep. Todd Rokita (R-Ind.) and Rep. Adrian Smith (R-Neb.).

Senate Cosponsors include the Chairman of the committee of jurisdiction, the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.), John Cornyn (R-Texas), Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), James Risch (R-Idaho), Deb Fischer (R-Neb.), Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), John McCain (Ariz.), David Vitter (R-La.), Dan Coats (R-Ind.) and Jerry Moran (R-Kan.). The PDF of the Senate bill is below.

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