U.S. Senators Susan Collins and Tammy Baldwin’s RAISE Family Caregivers Act Unanimously Passes Senate

Bipartisan legislation to establish a coordinated strategy to support family caregivers is endorsed by more than 60 aging and disability organizations

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senators Susan Collins (R-ME) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) today applauded the unanimous passage of the Recognize, Assist, Include, Support, and Engage, or RAISE Family Caregivers Act, in the U.S. Senate. The bipartisan legislation to establish a coordinated strategy to support family caregivers now heads to the U.S. House of Representatives.

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services to develop and sustain a strategy to recognize and support the more than 40 million family caregivers in the United States. This bipartisan legislation has been endorsed by more than 60 aging and disability organizations, including the AARP, the Alzheimer’s Association, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the Michael J. Fox Foundation and the Arc.

“Family caregivers play an essential role in our communities by dedicating time and attention and making countless personal and financial sacrifices to care for their loved ones,” said Senator Collins. “I am delighted that the Senate unanimously passed our bipartisan legislation, which will develop a coordinated strategic plan to leverage our resources, promote best practices, and expand services and training available to caregivers.”

“By passing the bipartisan RAISE Family Caregivers Act in the Senate, we have taken an important step forward to formally recognize and support our family caregivers across America,” said Senator Baldwin. “As someone that served as my grandmother’s primary caregiver, this is personal to me. If we are serious about ensuring that our older adults and loved ones with disabilities receive the highest quality care in their own homes, then we owe it to our current and future generations to continue to fight to see the RAISE Family Caregivers Act move forward and be signed into law.”

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act was supported by a broad bipartisan coalition of cosponsors including Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Chris Coons (D-DE), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), Jon Tester (D-MT) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH). Senators Collins and Baldwin first introduced the RAISE Family Caregivers Act in July 2015, and the legislation passed the Senate unanimously in December 2015.

Important Facts on Family Caregivers:

  • 40 million family caregivers in the United States provided an estimated $470 billion in uncompensated long-term care in 2013.
  • Many family caregivers are putting their own health at risk since caregivers experience high levels of stress and have a greater incidence of chronic conditions like heart disease, cancer, and depression.
  • Every day, 10,000 baby boomers turn 65, and as many as 90 percent of them have one or more chronic health conditions.

Americans 85 and older are the fastest growing segment of the aging population. This population is most at risk for multiple and interacting health problems that can lead to disability and the need for round-the-clock care