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The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act hailed as “historic,” “bold” Step Forward

This week, U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, introduced the Long Term Care Workforce Support Act. This comprehensive bill would ensure caregiving can be a sustainable, lifelong career by providing substantial new funding to support workers in every part of the long-term care industry, from nursing homes to home-care to assisted living facilities. The bill comes as the Nation faces a caregiving crisis marked by widespread worker shortages due to low pay and long hours across the essential industry.

The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is supported by a wide swath of organizations working on behalf of care workers, older adults, and people with disabilities who rely on care to live with health and dignity. See below what they are saying about how this legislation will transform the caregiving workforce and the availability and accessibility of high-quality care:

Ai-Jen Poo, CEO and President of the National Domestic Workers Alliance: “Our care workers need and deserve good jobs, including better pay, benefits, and access to paid leave. As the foundation of our entire workforce, these essential workers provide life-giving care that enables our families and communities to thrive — but without greater public investment, they remain trapped in cycles of poverty. The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is an important step forward in strengthening our long-undervalued and underfunded care workforce. We applaud Senator Bob Casey for his leadership on this issue.”

Mary Kay Henry, President of the Service Employees International Union: “Direct care workers form the backbone of the long-term care system, and the growing workforce crisis limits access to crucial services, preventing elders and people with disabilities from receiving high quality, person-centered care in the setting that’s best for them and their families. This crisis is exacerbated by low pay, poor job quality and a lack of respect for the workforce, which consists largely of women of color. The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act will make important new investments across the long-term care workforce, raising wages, expanding access to training and opportunities for professional advancement, and helping to ensure that care jobs are good jobs.”

Joe Macbeth, CEO and President of the National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals: “For decades, the long-term supports and services system has failed to adequately address its workforce challenges. These issues have been researched, documented and shared with policy makers at the state and federal levels on a regular basis. We know that building a competent and stable workforce is a key lynchpin to the success of the Long-Term Supports and Services and the millions of Americans who rely on it. The National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals thanks Senator Casey for introducing the Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act that takes a bold step to finally invest the financial recourses and worker protections into building and strengthening the most important element of long-term care – the direct support workforce.”

Edwin S. Jayne, Director of Federal Government Affairs, American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees: “The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is a crucial step toward building a more equitable, sustainable and compassionate care economy…This crucial legislation not only underscores the importance of protecting the health and well-being of our nation’s aging population and individuals with disabilities, but also represents a vital step in bolstering the care economy by recognizing the indispensable contributions of direct care workers.”

Kenneth Hobby, President, and Maynard Friesz, Vice President of Policy of Cure SMA (Spinal Muscular Dystrophy): “Cure SMA is pleased to support the Long-term Care Workforce Support Act. Your legislation would help address the caregiving crisis faced by individuals with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) and other disabilities by investing in public-private strategies to expand caregiving services and strengthen the long-term care workforce…Cure SMA and the entire SMA community appreciate your leadership and efforts to expand caregiving services and strengthen the long-term care workforce for individuals with SMA and other disabilities.”

Amy Robins, Senior Director of Policy, PHI National: “This is a historic piece of legislation designed to systematically improve direct care job quality and address the workforce crisis in long-term care. PHI has enthusiastically endorsed this comprehensive bill.”

The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is endorsed by 50 organizations, including Domestic Workers Alliance, SEIU, AFSCME, Caring Across Generations, National Coalition on Aging (NCOA), Justice in Aging, National Partnership for Women & Families, National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN).

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