Across the country unions, most notably the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) has been working tirelessly to draw attention to low income workers. They have been pressing state and local governments to increase minimum wages and that has garnered a great deal of support from fast food workers to in home care providers.
Increasing minimum wages or, as the marketing of the SEIU has pushed, helping people earn ‘living wages’ has created a strong emotional response among millions of people across the country and as politicians have set out to divide and conquer by creating a rich-poor dialogue, it has raised some important points some may be struggling to spot.
While the home care workers in the United States are considered a major part of health care and recovery for millions of people, they are often the lowest paid providers in a multi-billion dollar a year industry. What many of these caregivers struggle with, though, is having insurance coverage for themselves.
More people and organizations are demanding increased wages for these workers and the right for them to have affordable health coverage for themselves. They point to budget cuts and demand something be done to help these low income workers.
In the opinion piece titled, Missourians deserve affordable in-home care, written by Elinor Simmons and published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
“But right now, the proposed $113 million budget cut from Gov. Eric Greitens threatens the care of Missourians like Ms. Linda. If his plan to slash home care and nursing home programs is approved by the Legislature, more than 20,000 Missourians will lose their critical daily care, tens of thousands of families will be thrown into chaos, and taxpayers will pay even more in the years to come. Yet, the corporations that benefit from Greitens’ plan are paying one-third less in taxes than they used to — all at the cost of robbing nursing homes, seniors and people with disabilities from critical funding for vital services.”
Higher wages and more ‘affordable’ care or insurance or some other provisions are great as sound bites, but without more tax revenue or without cutting spending from other programs, these advocates don’t seem to present reasonable solutions to help increase revenues.
The elderly and disabled in this country, the most common demographic to rely on in home care, often have limited incomes and the basic forces of economics comes into play. Charging more for in home care means that either more tax revenue must be generated or seniors and the disabled will have to dig deeper into their wallets to pay for these most important services.