Argentum March 1, 2022
President Biden addressed a joint session of Congress tonight, declaring that “the State of the Union is strong” and “stronger today than we were a year ago” as the pandemic enters its third year. The president outlined a four-part plan to continue to combat the virus and move forward safely back to more normal routines, to include: (1) vaccines and treatments; (2) preparing for new variants; (3) ending the shutdown of schools and businesses; and (4) continuing to vaccinate the world.
Argentum has continued to press the Administration and Congress to address the unmet needs of seniors and caregivers. While the president declared a “new moment in the fight against COVID-19, with severe cases down to a level not seen since last July,” COVID-19 still poses a significant threat to seniors who remain most at-risk of complications from the virus—even with vaccination—as two-thirds of breakthrough hospitalizations have occurred in those who are age 65 and older.
President Biden announced he would be requesting additional COVID-19 response funding to pay for the tools to combat the virus, such as vaccines, treatments, tests, and masks. In anticipation of this request, Argentum recently sent a letter to Congressional leadership urging consideration of the financial and workforce crises facing providers and for the allocation of $10 billion for senior living providers to offset their pandemic-related losses.
Argentum has also called for passage of the SENIOR Act (H.R. 6530) that would create a $10 billion caregiver sustainability fund and $1.25 billion in workforce development grants, and for passage of the Employee Retention Tax Credit Reinstatement Act (H.R. 6161and S. 3625) to restore access to a $26,000 per employee credit and thereby help address both the financial and workforce crises.