The Biden administration could transform the direct care workforce with stepped-up funding, according to PHI VP of Policy Robert Espinoza in a Monday op-ed piece.
Espinoza noted that while the pandemic has reinforced the notion that direct care workers are “essential to the health and survival of millions of older adults and people with disabilities,” low pay, inadequate training and limited career-advancement opportunities “harm workers’ financial security, hinders quality care, and drive workers out of this sector.” A nonprofit, PHI advances development, training and support to the direct care workforce.
Espinoza’s proposed solution: a three-pronged long-term care financing initiative calling for:
• Protection and strengthening of Medicaid to cover more individuals and improve direct care jobs.
• Increased reimbursement rates to bolster job quality in direct care.
• Creation of a stronger public financing approach for long-term care and the direct care workforce. Espinoza notes that in July 2020, while campaigning, Biden released his 10-year, $775 billion plan to build “a robust 21st century caregiving and education workforce.”