Bi-weekly Call with Washington’s Congressional Delegation 

Bi-weekly Call with Washington’s Congressional Delegation 

LeadingAge WA and WHCA had our bi-weekly check in with our Congressional Delegation to update staff on Washington’s COVID-19 response.

The call started with briefing the delegation staff on Washington’s new statewide testing strategy for long term care. An overview was given on the mandate, as well as the numerous issues that have arisen over the last week. We also briefed the staff about the conversations that are happening around lifting the restrictions in long term care. 

We have continued to advocate to the delegation staff about the need for federal legislation around limited liability protections for long term care workers. This has been a very controversial topic in Congress, with the majority of the support coming from Republicans. We have continued to stress the circumstances that nursing homes and other providers have been placed under. They have been delivering care to residents without proper PPE and little understand early on of how this new virus spreads. Our health care workers and provider organizations need to be protected as they care for residents during this outbreak.  

We also took the opportunity to stress the importance of a federal FMAP increase and it’s continuation into the upcoming biennium. Currently, Washington is estimating a $7 billion hole in the budget and has directed state agencies to develop budgets that reduce state spending by 15% across the board.  Our long term services and supports and senior access to needed programs and health care would be devastated if these cuts were enacted. They come at a time where we still need funding increases to relieve providers of the financial burden from this virus. If there were ongoing federal increases to the FMAP it could help save many of our state’s Medicaid-funded long-term services and supports.

 

Questions?

Contact:

Alyssa Odegaard- Vice President, Public Policy 

c: 206.948.2279

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