The Care Corps Demonstration Act would build and strengthen America’s caregiving workforce, empower seniors and people with disabilities to live independently

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar along with her colleagues, Senators Tom Udall (D-NM) and Martin Heinrich (D-NM), introduced the Care Corps Demonstration Act to build and strengthen America’s caregiving workforce and help meet the growing demand for caregivers working with seniors and people living with disabilities.

By 2030, older Americans are expected to make up nearly 20 percent of the population and over the next ten years, the United States is expected to require at least one million more direct care workers. The Care Corps Demonstration Act will address the country’s growing caregiving needs by placing volunteers in communities where they will provide vital assistance to help seniors and people with disabilities who need extra support to live independently. Volunteers will receive health insurance and other benefits throughout the length of their service, along with an educational award that can be used to pay future education costs or loans.

“Within the next few decades both the number of Americans age 85 and older and long-term care costs are projected to double,” said Klobuchar. “The Care Corps Demonstration Act will help address the growing care needs of Minnesota’s aging population and work to provide caregivers with the tools they need to advance their education and training.”

“As our population ages, the number of people in need of care in New Mexico and across the country has skyrocketed but our health care system has failed to keep pace,” said Udall. “Each year, over 400,000 New Mexicans provide support and care to their family members or loved ones – care that often goes unnoticed and unpaid. This legislation will help value and honor the critical work of caregivers, while increasing the country’s caregiving capacity to help meet soaring demand. Just as importantly, it will help foster intergenerational relationships and empower those who need extra care to live independently. As a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, I’m excited to continue working on bold, innovative solutions like Care Corps to ensure that communities across New Mexico and the nation have access to the care and support they need to live with dignity.”

“As the first AmeriCorps alum in Congress, I know first-hand that there is no venture more rewarding than working to improve the lives of those around us,” said Heinrich. “We need to fill the gaps that will only grow as an aging population creates more demand for care. I am proud to support this legislation to give young adults and others a similar opportunity to address this need, while also helping the thousands of Americans who are already providing essential care for their family members, I applaud Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham’s leadership in creating the innovative idea of a Care Corps program. I will continue to support our nation’s caregivers and work to ensure all Americans, including seniors and individuals with disabilities, have the health care they deserve.”

Several organizations have endorsed the legislation, including AARP, UsAgainstAlzheimer’s, National Association of Area Agencies on Aging, National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care, New Mexico Caregivers Coalition, Caregiver Action Network, ANCOR, National Hispanic Medical Association, National Alliance for Caregiving, Easterseals, Alzheimer’s Impact Movement, PHI, and the Arc of the United States.

Throughout her time in the Senate, Klobuchar has been fighting to ensure that all Americans have safety, dignity, and good health in their senior years. In June 2018, Klobuchar introduced the Americans Giving Care to Elders (AGE) Act to provide financial relief to family caregivers by creating a tax credit for the costs of caring for an aging relative. The AGE Act would allow families to qualify for a tax credit to help offset expenses—ranging from purchasing assistive technologies and devices to fees for a care center to making necessary modifications to a home—of up to $6,000 per year.

In October 2017, the bipartisan Court-Appointed Guardian Accountability and Senior Protection Act Klobuchar introduced with Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) was signed into law by the President as part of the Elder Abuse Prevention and Prosecution Act. The law will help crack down on elder abuse by strengthening oversight and accountability for guardians and conservators. The bipartisan Seniors Fraud Prevention Act, which Klobuchar introduced with Senator Susan Collins (R-ME), passed the Senate last year. The bill would help fight scams designed to strip seniors of their assets by educating seniors about fraud schemes and improving monitoring of and response to fraud complaints.

Klobuchar has also been a leader in curbing the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs, improving and strengthening Medicare, and protecting American consumers by leading major legislation, such as the Empowering Medicare Seniors to Negotiate Drug Prices Act—which has 34 Senate cosponsors—and the bipartisan Safe and Affordable Drugs from Canada Act and Preserve Access to Affordable Generics Act.