(WASHINGTON, D.C.) -- Congressman Jamie Raskin (MD-08) today joined Congresswomen Jennifer Wexton (VA-10) and Abigail Spanberger (VA-07) and 40 colleagues in sending a bipartisan letter urging House and Senate Leadership to include the necessary funding for long-term care facilities in the next iteration of COVID-19 legislation. The letter to Congressional leadership outlines the desperate need for personal protective equipment as well as funding to attract and retain the necessary staff at long-term facilities that are under extreme duress.
Of the nearly 4 million residents and patients served at more than 15,000 skilled nursing facilities around the country, the average age is 79 years old and many suffer from underlying health conditions that place them at even greater risk.
The Members wrote: "Despite their investments, long-term care facilities still face a shortage of health care workers to care for residents and essential personal protective equipment to keep their workers and residents safe. This includes gowns, gloves, surgical masks, N-95 masks, face shields, thermometer covers, and hand sanitizer. Additionally, providers have expressed the need for additional funding to provide pay increases to health care staff as well as to pay for child care stipends for employees while their children are out of school, additional dietary staff to feed residents, and to provide meals for employees working long shifts. These are just a few examples of the challenges that long-term care facilities are enduring, all of which are greatly increasing their expenses. Additional funding in the next package would help skilled nursing facilities and assisted living centers across the country experiencing these urgent situations. It would specifically benefit facilities that have confirmed COVID-19 cases to help contain the outbreak and facilities that do not have confirmed COVID-19 cases to ensure the virus stays out of their communities."
The letter is signed by Representatives Colin Allred (TX), Cindy Axne (IA), Nanette Diaz Barragán (CA), Anthony G. Brown (MD), André Carson (IN), David N. Cicilline (RI), Emanuel Cleaver, II (MO), Gerald E. Connolly (VA), Danny K. Davis (IL), Eliot Engel (NY), Anna G. Eshoo (CA), Abby Finkenauer (IA), Brian Fitzpatrick (PA), Ruben Gallego (AZ), Jahana Hayes (CT), Brian Higgins (NY), Marcy Kaptur (OH) William R. Keating (MA), Derek Kilmer (WA), Ann Kirkpatrick (AZ), John B. Larson (CT), Tom Malinowski (NJ), Sean Patrick Maloney (NY), Michael T. McCaul (TX), Gregory Meeks (NY), Grace Meng (NY), Gwen Moore (WI), Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC), Jamie Raskin (MD), Kathleen M. Rice (NY), John Sarbanes (MD), Mary Gay Scanlon (PA), David Scott (GA), Mikie Sherrill (VA), Haley M. Stevens (MI), Thomas R. Suozzi (NY), Rashida Tlaib (MI), Paul D Tonko (NY), Peter Welch (VT), Frederica S. Wilson (FL).
The letter can be found here.