The Government Affairs Office (GAO) and our PA Hearts for Home Care Ambassadors and fellow advocates worked hard to ensure our legislators understood that deemed eligibility would allow home care providers to provide care to seniors who appear that they will be financially eligible for home care services. This issue became very well-known among our legislators and was eventually known as a “common sense” and “win-win” issue.
As a result, in the closing days of session the PA General Assembly led a flurry of activity for deemed eligibility. We saw:
- HB 1829 and SB 912, identical bills in support of deemed eligibility, unanimously passed in the Senate Human Services Committee
- SB 912 passed unanimously in the Senate Appropriations Committee
- SB 912 passed unanimously in the full Senate.
So what happened?
Legislation which would provide victims of abuse from catholic clergy took the attention of the entire legislature in the waning days of session. As a result of differing opinions and upcoming midterm elections, competing interests took hold and the deemed eligibility bills and many others were left without resolution.
It is very rare for legislation to fully pass in only one session, especially something as innovative as deemed eligibility. The fact that we got two bills almost fully through the process deserves to be celebrated. PA GAO will continue to advocate for this issue and look forward to having the legislation reintroduced next session.
Thank you to our advocates and the many legislators who supported this bill! Please contact me if you’re interested in advocating for our goals next session!