Health & Care Bill

In the coming weeks, MPs are set to debate the Health and Care Bill, which includes plans to exclude means-tested council support payments from a new £86,000 lifetime limit on costs. One charity says making disabled people pay for their care is “morally unfair”. The government have said these new plans will strike a balance between people paying for their own needs, and help from the taxpayer. According to the NHS, About a quarter of a million adults under the age of 65 rely on social care, and because of this, many organisations and social care settings are calling for change.

MPs narrowly voted through the Health and Care Bill – despite a significant Tory rebellion – in November last year. But since then, the House of Lords has sent the bill back to the Commons with amendments to how the £86,000 cap should work. One amendment set to be debated on Wednesday is about a change to the way in which care costs that go towards the cap are counted.

Campaigners want the £86,000 to be made up of contributions from the local authority and from the individual, rather than only being the amount the individual pays themselves. They say that if it’s just someone’s individual contribution that counts towards the cap, some working-age disabled adults could spend a lifetime paying towards the cost of their care, with younger disabled adults particularly affected.

Baroness Jane Campbell, who has campaigned for many years for reform on how disabled adults are charged for their care, says the proposals mean young disabled people who have had little or no opportunity to save money, will get less protection than non-disabled people, who might not need social care until much later in their lives.

She said:
“Disabled people will be facing this charge from the age of 18,” she says. “To charge any young person a bill of £86,000 for them to pay off for the rest of their lives isn’t a great start in life. This was the government’s one chance to level up for disabled people, and it has not done that.”

The government says it will be introducing a more generous means-testing limit, which means that more people will be eligible for some state support towards the cost of their care. It says the reforms are fair and will provide certainty and reassurance for people to plan their future.”

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