In their own words: West Virginians explain why they need home health care 


December 21, 2021

After the U.S. House passed the Build Back Better Act, Ady Barkan knew the bill’s future likely would come down to the vote of one Senator: Joe Manchin of West Virginia. Barkan, a lawyer and progressive activist with a particular interest in home health care, decided to reach out to West Virginians and find out what they thought of the legislation. 

He then created a video of the responses and posted it on twitter. It has received more than 100,000 views. These are Barkan’s words and the responses he received: 

“Senator Manchin will cast the crucial vote to decide whether the bill becomes law or dies. So I asked West Virginians – Democrats, Republicans, and Independents – why home care matters. And we heard back from seniors and people with disabilities: 

My 89-year-old mother needs home health care. I’m getting to the point where I’m going to need home health care. 

  • — Delma in Beckley (Democrat) 

We are old and don’t want to leave our home. 

  • — Herbert in Lavalette (Democrat) 

“And their families: 

I care for my 80-year-old husband and my 14-year-old blind, multi-disabled granddaughter. It is very important to our family. 

  • — Ruby in Berkely Springs (Republican) 

My adult son is non-speaking autistic. He needs 24/7 care. Please don’t cut his funding! 

  • — Kirsten in Martinsburg (Independent) 

“We heard from veterans and military families: 

I lost my father, a WWII veteran, to one of those so-called care facilities. 

  • — Carol in Wauregan (Republican) 

My grandfather is a veteran and is suffering from ALS!! I have been taking care of him, and I am 23 years old, so no school or work! We need more help but no finance to help us! 

  • — Tyler in Falling Waters (Independent) 

“Others told us about their troubling experiences with nursing homes: 

I was a health care worker for 10 years, and as hard as they try, the patients’ needs are not being met. They are stripped of everything and reduced down to a twin bed and a nightstand. There was no way to give them the care they deserve. 

  • — Joyce in Ansted (Republican) 

“And some just wanted Congress to do what’s right: 

People need family, they’re not replaceable! No matter what happens, home health care is better than a nursing home. 

  • — Bina in Oak Hill (Democrat) 

The seniors of this country are left behind so often. In many cases, this service may be the only interaction. Someone to make sure they are okay. 

  • — Harriet in Hedgesville (Republican) 

Because we all might need it some day! 

  • — Surface in Charleston (Democrat) 

“Proud parents and loyal children. Veterans and people living with disabilities. Grandparents and seniors. Friends and neighbors who all deserve to stay at home with those they love and to live with dignity. Will we get the care we need? Only if Senator Manchin votes for the bill.” 

Click below to see Barkan’s video.. 


Build Back Better
Home and Community-Based Services