SEIU’s message to Biden, Congress: Pass $400B HCBS infrastructure plan – Home Care Daily News | #seniorliving | #elderly | #seniors
The nation’s largest union for service workers is pressing President Biden and Congress to act on his plan to invest $400 billion in the country’s caregiving infrastructure. This week, the Service Employees International Union (SEIU), as well as 85 other organizations, sent a letter urging them to work together to pass legislation.
“This long-overdue investment in a majority-women workforce, powered by Black, Latina, Asian and immigrant women, will support the very workers and communities who have been hardest hit by the economic recession and lay the foundation for future economic growth,” the letter said.
President Biden last month released the plan to invest in Medicaid home- and community-based services as part of a $2 trillion infrastructure package. The letter pointed out the toll the pandemic has taken on the women of color, who left the workforce due to caregiving responsibilities during the pandemic. It also pointed out the substandard wages of home care jobs, and how low Medicaid reimbursement forces aging adults and people with disabilities to rely on family and friends.
“Care jobs are, all too often, undervalued and underpaid, which is only compounded by inadequate Medicaid funding and rate setting that does not account for necessary labor costs; this results in high rates of worker turnover and chronic worker shortages across the country, which leads to families fending for themselves to access care for a loved one or people with disabilities and older adults going without needed services,” the letter said.
The letter challenges Biden and Congress to create “good, family-sustaining, union jobs of the future, just as we did with auto and steel jobs.” It also insisted on a path to citizenship for qualified immigrant workers.
“Providing a path to citizenship will create a pipeline of needed caregivers while guaranteeing them basic protections and a real shot at economic security and opportunity,” it said.