“Making Care Work Pay: How A Living Wage For LTSS Workers Benefits All”

Making Care Work Pay: How A Living Wage For LTSS Workers Benefits All,” by Christian Weller, Beth Almeida, Marc A. Cohen, Robyn I. Stone, Health Affairs



“LTSS staffing shortages stem largely from the fact that our nation undervalues the 3.5 million nursing assistants, personal care aides, and home health aides who go to work each day in residential care settings and private homes across the country. Despite their valuable work, one in eight direct care workers lives in poverty, and three-quarters earn less than the average living wage in their states.”

LTC Comment, Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform :

So what should we do about it? According to this article, we should spend an extra “$9.4 billion in 2022”; maximize the “6.2 percent increase in federal Medicaid matching funds authorized in May 2020 by the CARES Act”; add “longer-term Medicaid reimbursement increases”; make sure “the Medicaid program—the largest public payer of LTSS—must reimburse providers at a level that allows them to pay workers a living wage;” “build a living wage for direct care workers into Medicaid payment rates on an ongoing basis, ensure that the appropriate percentage of provider reimbursement goes directly to pay direct care workers, and require periodic audits to oversee the process and explore “social insurance approaches to financing LTSS” like Washington State’s Long-Term Care Trust Act.”

In other words, borrow, print and spend a lot of money we don’t have to build Medicaid even bigger and employ compulsory government regulation (and force) to make the entire service delivery system comply. Have these proto-socialists no clue what caused the problems they want to “solve” by doing more of the same? To paraphrase a former president who opposed such ideas, Medicaid is the problem, not the solution. For a full explanation of why we’re in the long-term care mess we’re in and what we need to do about it, read Medicaid and Long-Term Care.