The American employment plan is investing closely within the long-forgotten dwelling care trade – cash welcomed within the trenches by each employers and staff, Fisher Phillips
In response to an industry that was in crisis long before the pandemic, President Biden’s American employment plan calls for significant investment in the care industry. The plan is to allocate $ 400 billion to improve access to quality, affordable home care for elderly and disabled Americans. Specifically, by creating new, competitive home care jobs with higher wages and benefits, the plan is expected to dramatically expand the supply of calibers to hundreds of thousands of Americans excluded from the previous system. At first glance, the plan’s investment in home care is supported by both parties and employers and employees alike.
Currently, wages for key home care workers – disproportionately women and people of color – are around $ 12 an hour, sadly making these uniquely arduous workers some of the worst paid in the US economy. In fact, one in six domestic workers lives in poverty. However, the industry is finally gathering the support and attention it has lacked for decades. Investment in home care is backed by credible research showing that increases in caregiver pay are directly related to improved productivity and the quality of care provided. In addition, another study showed that increasing the wages of domestic workers prevented deaths, decreased health injuries, and decreased the cost of preventive care. The healthcare industry is based on and driven by the provision of high quality care. Hence, the investment will, in theory, change the industry for the better, giving employers and employees alike a break to rejoice.
An industry in need – is help on the way?
The home care industry is unique and requires a level of passion and commitment from its employees that arguably cannot be compared to the type of general practitioner or bedside nurse required. Many domestic workers are alone in the trenches every day with the most vulnerable and sick populations. Because the job is so difficult, it requires talented, detail-oriented, hardworking, and compassionate people. As a result, employers and home health workers understand the importance of not only hiring professionals, but also those who have an exceptional level of empathy. Such employees are difficult to find in an industry where workers have historically been underpaid. Accordingly, the Plan’s investments in this sector have solid potential to attract and expand the pool of skilled workers who critically care for elderly and disabled family members, neighbors and communities.
Specifically, the plan envisages spending of $ 400 billion over eight years. This is roughly one-fifth the total cost of the American Jobs Plan. Since the scale of the home care crisis is undoubtedly substantial, the determination has broad support from Democrats, Republicans and Independents. This reflects growing concerns about the country’s inability to absorb the tremendous growth of the elderly population – a humanitarian crisis caused by the limited workforce of talented carers that is making retirement difficult for millions of people and having many adult children, mostly daughters, could move the labor market out of the country to provide for their parents. As baby boomers get older, the number of seniors is expected to triple by 2050. Unlike most developed nations, the United States does not provide public long-term care benefits for all older adults. In addition, our care facilities are having difficulty recruiting and are in dire need of funding. These trends are only exacerbated by the coronavirus pandemic.
Show us the money
Yes, investing in home care for recipients as a whole is a positive step in improving the American healthcare industry – most importantly, equal access to quality care throughout life. However, the unknown path remains unclear. The determination of the plan does not provide guidance on the allocation of funds, so the details need to be clarified in Congress. Right now it is difficult to predict how funding will perform, including Medicaid’s versus its respective shares of the private sector. Therefore, even if there has been bipartisan support for home care in the past, the debate will focus on who gets how much money, including the exact wage and performance increases for workers.
During his campaign, President Biden was more specific on his industry funding platform, pledging to clear the backlog of 800,000 Americans on Medicaid’s home care waiting lists. In practice, if Congressional legislation is focused solely on improving the Medicaid backlog, investing the plan can do little to alleviate cost pressures on the elderly and disabled who burden middle-class families. Fortunately, Congress Democrats are expected to fill in the gaps. For example, Senator Robert J. Casey Jr. (D-Pa.), Who previously promoted legislation to create a national “Caregiver Corps”, included this in the definition of the plan.
In sum, while the provision is theoretically a big step forward in providing skilled home care to the country’s vulnerable populations, how the money will be divided remains open and is the subject of specific congressional laws. Because of this, the waters are murky for public and private health employers alike. Ultimately, however, we can agree that a significant expansion of care to the most vulnerable in the country, which offers healthier and improved quality of life, is largely a good thing for American families and the country’s economy.