Findings
  1. A shortage of direct care workers predated and has been intensified by the COVID-19 pandemic, characterized by low wages and limited opportunities for career advancement. The direct care workforce is disproportionately female and Black.  Debate in Congress to increase funding for Medicaid HCBS is aimed at strengthening the direct care workforce.

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  2. Freed, M., Ochieng, N., Sroczynski, N., Damico, A., Amin, K. July 28, 2021. “Medicare and Dental Coverage: A Closer Look” Available at https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-and-dental-coverage-a-closer-look/.

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  3. Most Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Medicare Advantage plans are offered dental, vision and hearing benefits although the coverage varies widely. More at https://www.kff.org/medicare/issue-brief/medicare-advantage-2021-spotlight-first-look/.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.