Trump Signs RAISE Family Caregivers Act to Assist Family Caregivers

On Monday, Trump signed the bipartisan Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act. The new law gives the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services 18 months to come up with a plan that supports those who take care of a family member with an illness, disability or “functional limitation.”

On Wednesday, Alex Azar, former president of the U.S. division of the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly & Co., was confirmed secretary of health and human services. His appointment follows the resignation of former Georgia Rep. Tom Price.

Azar’s plan will include recommendations for federal, state and local governments as well as community resources to support family caregivers and their needs, including respite options, financial security, workplace issues and training supports related to hospice care and palliative care.

“Family caregivers are the backbone of our care system in America,” Nancy A. LeaMond, AARP’s chief advocacy and engagement officer, said in a statement. “We need to make it easier for them to coordinate care for their loved ones, get information and resources, and take a break so they can rest and recharge.”

In developing a plan, the secretary will consult with an advisory council, which will include family caregivers, people with disabilities and others in the field. Advisory council meetings will be open to the public, and the plan will be updated every other year.

The act was well-received by many people and organizations on Twitter.

In some states, family caregivers can be paid through Medicaid. However, according to AARP, 43.5 million caregivers were unpaid in 2015.

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Header image via the White House Facebook page.

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