|Posted:||December 31, 2020 11:07 AM|
|From:||Representative Ed Gainey|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Nursing Home Accountability Act|
|The nursing facility industry in Pennsylvania is predominately funded by taxpayers through Medical Assistance and Medicare reimbursement. Our state reimburses nursing facilities that participate in the Medical Assistance program at a level that is sufficient to pay their employees a living wage. Despite this, many nursing facilities pay their employees poverty wages that force them to rely on public assistance programs, such as Medical Assistance, to survive.
This problem has only grown more severe as the COVID-19 pandemic has forced nursing facility employees to put their own lives at risk as they work to provide needed care for our seniors and to ensure that the virus does not spread among the most vulnerable. Now, more than ever, it is time to pay nursing facility employees the wages they deserve.
For this reason, I will be introducing legislation to create a living wage accreditation program for nursing facilities that provide base hourly wages of $17 per hour for all of their directly employed and subcontracted employees. The legislation will also ensure that nursing facilities pay a penalty for health coverage received by their employees through the Medical Assistance program and other public assistance programs that are fully or partially funded with state funds. The penalty would be based on the costs incurred by the state for providing these benefits to the nursing facilities’ employees.
Please join me in ensuring that our hard-working nursing facility employees receive the wages and working conditions they deserve while saving taxpayers’ money.