The American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) have released a statement ahead of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee hearing on legislation to better support America’s caregivers and health care providers.

The statement by Mark Parkinson, president and chief executive of AHCA/NCAL, says:

“We appreciate Health Subcommittee Chairwoman Anna Eshoo and Ranking Member Brett Guthrie for holding this important hearing today, as well as the leadership of House Energy & Commerce Chairman Frank Pallone Jr. and Ranking Member Cathy McMorris Rodgers. We are encouraged that members of the committee are focused on improving health care by supporting direct caregivers and providers, particularly those in the long term care sector.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated longstanding staffing challenges within our profession, and we must prioritize legislation that will help us recruit and retain more workers. We support HR 331, the Nurses Certification and Recognition of Experience (Nurses CARE) Act, and HR 5602, the Bolstering Infectious Outbreaks (BIO) Preparedness Workforce Act of 2021.

“HR 331 would help alleviate current labor shortages by expanding training opportunities for Temporary Nurse Aides (TNAs) who stepped up to serve during the pandemic, and HR 5602 would establish a loan repayment program for infection preventionists in nursing homes. In addition, AHCA and LeadingAge have proposed the Care for Our Seniors Act, which offers several solutions that will further assist in bolstering our workforce.

“Our elderly population is growing rapidly, and we must be prepared to meet the increased demand for long term care services. Establishing a strong workforce is an essential component of this process. We look forward to working with lawmakers on legislation that will ensure all caregivers are supported so that seniors have access to a robust, quality long term care system.”