Caregivers could see higher pay rates and seniors could bypass waiting lists, thanks to a newly proposed “Better Care” bill.
Senators Bob Casey (D-PA) and Debbie Dingell (D-MI-6) recently introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act to Congress. If passed, Casey said in a statement the bill would focus on improving the accessibility of Home and Community Based Services and addressing the payment rates of care workers, among other things.
“This legislation would also strengthen the caregiving workforce, improve quality of life for families and boost the economy by creating good-paying jobs to make it possible for families and workers alike to thrive economically,” he said in a news release.
If the bill becomes law, many of the 650,000 people in the U.S. on waiting lists for home care could finally get the help they need, according to Casey and Dingell.
“No one should have to wait to get the care they deserve, and no care worker should have to live below the poverty line to give this care,” Dingell said in a statement.
The bill will also work to improve caregiver wages, which are currently set at a median rate of $13 an hour with few benefits.
“The Better Care Better Jobs Act would increase payment rates to promote recruitment and retention of direct care workers, increase wages, and develop and update training opportunities,” reads a release from the United States Special Committee on Aging. “The legislation would provide support to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to conduct oversight and encourage innovation to benefit direct care workers and care recipients.”
Congress has not yet voted to pass the Better Care Better Jobs. A complete overview of all issues the bill will address has been published online by Senator Dingell.