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07/15/2024 10:09 AM
Pennsylvania House of Representatives
https://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Legis/CSM/showMemoPublic.cfm?chamber=H&SPick=20230&cosponId=42325
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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session

MEMORANDUM

Posted: March 19, 2024 03:19 PM
From: Representative Jessica Benham and Rep. Jason Ortitay
To: All House members
Subject: Agency Accountability and Livable Wages for Pennsylvania’s Home Care Workers
 
High-quality home care is critical for Pennsylvania’s future. Our state’s population is aging, and seniors increasingly prefer to age at home. However, low wages and lack of benefits in the industry have led to an acute workforce shortage. Right now there's only 1 home care worker for every 6 people who need care.
 
We simply cannot meet the overwhelming need for quality home care with a workforce that earns poverty wages, has no health insurance, no time-off, and no retirement. The only way to make quality, accessible care a reality for our most vulnerable Pennsylvanians is to invest in our care workforce. It's time to pass a budget that invests in caregivers and gets homecare workers to $15 immediately with a path to $20 an hour.
 
Furthermore, we must ensure taxpayer dollars are spent on care. Currently, caregivers receive approximately $13 for every $20 the state spends on care. This means that most agencies only spend about 65% of their public funding on care, which is wasteful and unethical. We must increase accountability and transparency within the industry to ensure public dollars are not subsidizing corporate greed, while also creating incentives for mission-driven employers who go above and beyond when investing in their workforce.  
 
This legislation will:
  • Increase state funding for Personal Assistance Services in PA’s Medical Assistance CHC programs so that providers can offer competitive wages and meet the increasing demand for services.
  • Require a market-based analysis of rates every three years to ensure rates are adjusted for inflation going forward.
  • Require at least 80% of the total funding to be spent on worker compensation, with annual reporting requirements to document the use of public funds.
  • Create an enhanced rate for mission-driven, nonprofit home care agencies that invest at least 90% of their total reimbursement rate in their care workforce.
 
The time is now to ensure that every person who wants to age at home is able to live with independence and dignity. We ask our colleagues to join us in support of this important legislation.



Introduced as HB2372