Amid coronavirus outbreak, Pennsylvania lawmakers look at ways to protect elderly, those with disabilities

Senator Bob Casey (D- PA) addresses supporters.
Photo credit Mark Makela/Getty Images
PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio)—Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey is working with local officials and leaders in the aging and disability communities to figure out how lawmakers can be helpful in protecting them during the coronavirus epidemic. 

Casey said thanks to a bill that recently went through Congress, Pennsylvania’s public health emergency program is receiving $16.9 million from the federal government to help combat the coronavirus.

With the upcoming legislation, he wants to turn his attention to getting elderly- and disability-related programs the help they need.

“We want to provide more dollars for Medicaid funding, for home and community-based services, as well as making sure people with Medicare can easily access the testing,” he said. 

The risks presented by #COVID19 are particularly dangerous for older Americans & people with disabilities. As we shape our national response, we need to be doing more to look out for those in our Nation who need the most support. I’m calling on Congress to do the following: pic.twitter.com/vmosPXMiTo

— Senator Bob Casey (@SenBobCasey) March 16, 2020

The bill currently being worked on would provide $250 million to senior nutrition programs, he said. 

“That would allow 25 million additional home-delivered and congregant meals to be served,” he added.

Social workers who talked with Casey said they would like to see outreach for those already suffering from a lack of contact with the outside world, as well as more being done for those who do not use English as a first language, and others who need internet access.