I am writing to alert readers of the desperate need to support the New York Health Act, our nation’s most comprehensive and inclusive single-payer bill, as well as the Fair Pay for Home Care Act, to provide a living wage to home care workers. This includes the need to raise state revenue instead of cutting Medicaid funding, as former Gov. Andrew Cuomo did.
Since March of 2020, thousands of seniors and individuals with disabilities have died in nursing homes due to Covid-19. A safer alternative to nursing home care is needed now more than ever. Health care assistance in the home is safer and more cost-effective for the fast-growing population of seniors and people with disabilities.
Unfortunately, in a field with great potential for job growth, home health care workers are leaving their jobs; not because they are unhappy with the work, which they know is valuable, but because the pay is so low that they cannot afford to live. In many cases, home health care workers are paid less than fast-food workers and few get paid sick leave, health insurance, child care, or transportation costs.
The state budget comes up in April of 2022. The passage of these acts is extremely important for our “baby-boomer” population, as well as those with disabilities.
Janine Hunt-Jackson, PhD