RAISE Act: Your voice made a huge difference for caregivers nationwide

Posted by Reeve Foundation Staff in Daily Dose on December 19, 2017 # Advocacy and Policy, Caregiving

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is pleased to report that today the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3759, the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act today. The Foundation, which has advocated passage of this bill over the past two years, commends this effort in support of caregivers, including those who care for those living with paralysis. The Senate companion, S. 1028, was passed in September. It is expected to be signed by the President.

The legislation directs the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to develop, maintain, and periodically update a National Family Caregiving Strategy. The strategy will encourage the sharing of evidence-based best practices that maximize the effectiveness of existing programs in support of family caregivers. In addition, the bill requires the Secretary of HHS to convene a Family Caregiving Advisory Council, which includes the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, or the Secretary's designee. The Council will also include, among others, family caregivers, persons living with disabilities, medical professionals and scientists. The advisory council meetings would be open to the public, and there would be opportunities for public input.

The National Family Caregiving Strategy will help identify specific actions that providers, government officials, employers, and others can take to recognize and support the unique needs of caregivers that are often forgotten or overlooked.

Reeve Foundation advocates reached out to their congressional leaders and urged them to pass this legislation. Thanks to you and your voice, we are celebrating a tremendous victory for family caregivers who provide critical support to enhance the health, care and independence of their loved ones.

This bipartisan measure was sponsored by by Sens. Susan Collins (R-Maine) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) and by Reps. Gregg Harper (R-Miss.) and Kathy Castor (D-Fla.).