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Essential Caregiver Bill Officially Filed in Congress!

Updated: May 11

So much to say but here we are! This thorough and thoughtful bill has been filed that recognizes safety and infection control while preserving at least a PORTION of a resident's right to in-person access should that access ever again be suspended again by a Section 1135 waiver under the Social Security Act.

Y'all, Texas has played a very big role in the development of this bill despite being the state least in need of it thanks to our constitutional amendment which made Section 35 of the Texas Bill of Rights the right for a long-term care resident to have access to an essential caregiver.

The provisions of the bill were outlined in a webinar we held in April and while a couple of clarifications have been made in the language since then, the webinar contents and related slides are still accurate. Please take the time to learn about the bill and help gain support from your Senators and House Representatives in Congress. All necessary links are at the bottom of this post. The draft bill is still on our website and will be replaced with the final bill.

ONE IMPORTANT CLARIFICATION in the bill that I want to make note of is what is being called the "7/7 clause", the provision that a facility may prevent visitation for up to seven days in the event of a catastrophe or special circumstance and may ask for a single seven day extension. While it is necessary for a facility to have this option in the event an evacuation or structural damage due to flood, tornado, etc., the bill language has been clarified to make sure that IT IS CLEAR that a facility has a maxiumum of up to seven days and one extension of up to seven days during any declared period of visitation suspension. So if a lockdown lasts six months or two years, it doesn't matter. They get a maximum of 14 TOTAL days and no more. So we do anticipate facilities putting those in an emergency piggy bank.

Genny Lutzel, Stephanie Evans Kirby, and I have worked on a Texas-specific outline of some things we can do to encourage support from our 38 House Representatives in Congress and EACH ONE OF YOU CAN BE A VERY BIG PART OF THIS! We also need support from both Congressional Senators but since Senator Cornyn is an author, we know we have his support already!

Our biggest project won't cost you a dime, just your time and your heart. And, we know how big our hearts are here in TEXAS!

We are Texas Caregivers for Compromise and not only are we #notgoingaway but we are kicking donkey derrieres!





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