Bipartisan Group of Senators Propose Legislation that Would Provide Respite Care Grants
Several senators yesterday introduced legislation that would offer $727 million in grants over five years to organizations that initiate or expand respite care programs, the New Orleans Times-Picayune reports. Respite care provides "short-term breaks for people caring for children or adults with serious physical or emotional ailments." The bill, proposed by Sens. John Breaux (D-La.), Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.), Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), would "enable more families to care for their own relatives" without the need for "more expensive" institutional care, Clinton said (Alpert, New Orleans Times-Picayune, 5/10). Clinton added, "[C]urrent respite care programs are unable to provide relief to all overtaxed caregivers who need a helping hand. The legislation we're introducing today would allow more caregivers to take advantage of respite services that serve as a lifeline for thousands of individuals struggling to keep their heads above water" (Clinton release, 5/9). About 26 million Americans provide informal care to ill or disabled relatives, according to the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (New Orleans Times-Picayune, 5/10).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.