April 14, 2021 | Newsweek

Biden's Infrastructure Plan Recognizes Our Invisible Home Care Workers

By Drs. Norma B. Coe and Rachel Werner for Newsweek

When President Biden included $400 billion for home health care in his $2 trillion infrastructure plan, he acknowledged what home care workers have known for decades: They are the infrastructure that keeps the industry intact, and they are an infrastructure that is crumbling and badly in need of repair.

Biden's American Jobs Plan includes a much-needed expansion of access to home and community-based services though Medicaid, currently riddled by long wait lists. But perhaps most importantly, the plan would support well-paying caregiving jobs that include benefits and the ability to unionize. This would be long-overdue and welcome support for a critical part of the long-term care market, which has been largely ignored since budgetary concerns thwarted the implementation of the CLASS Act in 2011.

In-home care for aging Americans is a vital and growing part of the long-term care sector, a sector that is slowly breaking and will surely crumble if nothing is done as baby boomers age and disability rises. By 2050, 18.9 million Americans will be over the age of 85, and if current patterns continue, more than 40 percent of them will need daily care to help with everyday activities.

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