Washington, D.C. — Yesterday, Sens. Bob Casey Jr. (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Patty Murray (D-WA), Tammy Duckworth (D-IL), Maggie Hassan (D-NH), and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) introduced the Better Care Better Jobs Act. This legislation—along with its House companion introduced by Reps. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), Frank Pallone (D-NJ), Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), and Doris Matsui (D-CA)—would invest in and expand access to home- and community-based services for seniors and people with disabilities while boosting the wages, benefits, and unionizing opportunities for home care workers.
Following the introduction of the bill, Mia Ives-Rublee, director for the Disability Justice Initiative at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement:
The COVID-19 pandemic laid bare many of the dangers of congregate facilities. Expanding home- and community-based services would ensure that many disabled and aging Americans are able to stay in their homes and participate in their communities while also getting the care they need to thrive. It would also improve the lives of disabled care workers, with increases in pay and benefits. If passed, the Better Care Better Jobs Act would improve the lives of millions of disabled and aging Americans.
Karla Walter, senior director of employment policy at CAP, added:
Every day, home care workers perform vital tasks that allow aging Americans and Americans with disabilities to fully participate in the economy and society. Yet home care workers, the majority of whom are women of color, are often paid poverty wages and receive few benefits. The Better Care Better Jobs Act would boost care workers’ wages, while also strengthening their opportunities to use their voice to drive change on the job and expanding training opportunities. Along with other care infrastructure policies such as child care and paid family and medical leave, the provisions of the Better Care Better Jobs Act are a vital component of building a stronger, more equitable country and must be enacted as part of Congress’ economic recovery efforts.
For more information or to speak to an expert, please contact Julia Cusick at gro.ssergorpnacirema@kcisucj.