Statement from CMS Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure on President Biden’s State of the Union:

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“During President Biden’s first year in office, CMS has worked to expand health care coverage to a record 14.5 million people through the Health Insurance Marketplaces, encouraged states to extend Medicaid coverage for a full 12 months after childbirth, and expanded access to home and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities. Last night, the President laid out several ways that we continue this momentum and build a better America.

“CMS is proud to be leading the President’s new initiative to improve the safety and quality of care at the nation’s nursing homes. For months, my team and I have met with industry experts, nursing home workers, resident advocates, and – most importantly – nursing home residents and their family members. I have been deeply moved by these conversations, which informed the vision outlined yesterday. People living in nursing homes deserve to be treated with dignity and to receive the care they need. Tragically, nursing home residents and staff have made up roughly one-fourth of all COVID-19 deaths in the country. Without the hard work, dedication and sacrifices of our frontline care workers, we know the number of deaths from COVID-19 would be even more staggering. I am deeply grateful to the nursing home staff who are doing this critical work every day.

“COVID-19 has also highlighted the need to address unmet mental health needs that have been exacerbated by the pandemic. At CMS, we are committed to implementing these provisions and engaging Congress and our stakeholders on these essential investments in the mental health of America.

“Over the last year, CMS made history, and we will continue the work to expand health care coverage and access to care, improve quality, and build a better health care system for the American people.”

CMS.gov | Contributed

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