Sat, 25 Sep 2021

WASHINGTON, D.C.: President Joe Biden is seeking support for $400 billion in spending for at-home care for the nation's elderly and disabled.

Claiming such spending is needed by the economy, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo told Reuters on Monday that America's aging populations were going to hit the country "like a ton of bricks" unless there is increased federal assistance.

Raimondo, who pays for 24-hour care for an aging parent, said caring for the elderly would harm the U.S. economy if women dropped out of the workforce due to their being needed to care for aging parents.

"Just giving those women a raise would be a huge boost to our economy ... and a huge drag on the economy if we don't get it done," Raimondo said.

Currently, 16.5 percent of the U.S. population, or 54 million people, are over the age of 65. By 2030 that number will rise to 74 million.

In March, Biden proposed boosting Medicaid, the federal medical program for lower-income Americans, by $400 billion over ten years to fund at-home care for elderly and disabled people, and increasing wages for caregivers.

"It will be a battle to get enough of it funded in the reconciliation package. We still have to make the case for it ... and that's part of the reason why I'm pounding the drum," said Raimondo.

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