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2019 HCBS Funding Advances in Congress

The U.S. Senate last week passed a combined spending bill that contains some good news in terms of Fiscal Year 2019 funding for home and community-based services. 

The measure funds services under the Older Americans Act that are essential to older adults living in community settings, including healthcare workforce programs, low-income home energy assistance, Community Services Block Grants, Lifespan Respite Care and Social Services Block Grants. Highlights include:

  • An increase of $6 million for aging and disability services programs.
  • An increase of $50 million for low-income home energy assistance.
  • $1.7 billion, the same level of funding as Fiscal Year 2018, for Social Services Block Grants. 

The U.S. House Appropriations Committee has not yet taken up the Labor-Health and Human Services measure. The committee drafted its appropriations bill using a lower total allotment of funding than the Senate did. These differences remain to be resolved before a 2019 Labor-Health and Human Services spending bill can be signed into law.

The new fiscal year begins on Oct. 1.

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