Nursing Home Industry Reacts to Senate Finance Committee’s Draft of the Build Back Better Act


WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL), representing more than 14,000 nursing homes and long term care facilities across the country that provide care to approximately five million people each year, released the following statement in reaction to the Senate Finance Committee’s draft text of the Build Back Better Act.

The statement is attributable to Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL.

"The long term care profession fully supports legislation aimed at enhancing our workforce that is coupled with meaningful resources and recruitment strategies. Therefore, we appreciate Senators removing an unfunded mandate to implement the findings of a minimum staffing study, as well as including an additional $800 million for states over the next decade to assist with improving staffing and infection control in nursing homes. These are great first steps in recognizing our current labor crisis and the need to build up the next generation of long term caregivers. However, more work is needed to ensure the Build Back Better Act lives up to its name. 

“Unfortunately, other unfunded staffing mandates and Medicaid cuts remain in the Senate version. Nursing homes support a requirement to have a registered nurse (RN) on-staff 24 hours a day, but it will require hiring at least 21,000 more RNs and cost at least $2.5 billion a year. Without the necessary resources, Senators must remove this unfunded mandate. There also is language that would roll back enhanced Medicaid funding for states. We should be reinvesting in our social safety net, not returning to the status quo of chronic underfunding. 

“Fully funding our long term care sector, incentivizing providers to do the right thing, and working together to enhance quality care should be our focus. We encourage lawmakers to consider meaningful reforms that will benefit everyone, like the Care For Our Seniors Act

“At this critical moment and through this monumental legislation, Senators must prioritize our nation’s seniors and their caregivers. By supporting long term care so we can build back our workforce and enhance the quality of care delivered, lawmakers can help protect access to care for millions of seniors now and in the future.” 

The provisions most impacting the nursing home profession include:
Section 122115 – Registered Professional Nurses
Section 122117 – Grants to Improve Staffing and Infection Control in Long-Term Care Institutional Settings
Section 122231(b) - Revisions to Temporary Increase of Medicaid FMAP Under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act