Biden puts $400 billion into home-based care
The US President’s $2 trillion stimulus package for US jobs and infrastructure includes $400 billion over eight years for home-based, long-term healthcare services.
Economic commentators point out that Biden deliberately included the investment in care as part of the economic agenda, arguing that it would create better, higher-paying jobs and unleash untapped potential for growth.
“This is an absolutely critical piece of the package. We think of it as core to our nation’s infrastructure,” said Heather Boushey, a member of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
If implemented in full, it would represent the single largest investment in home- and community-based services for disabled and older people in American history.
The plan, however, is expected to face fierce opposition from the Republican Party.
The plan outlines how caregivers would receive “a long-overdue raise, stronger benefits and an opportunity to organise or join a union”.
The inclusion of the home-care funding – close to twice current expenditures – came after intense lobbying by the SEIU, the union that represents more than one million carers.
According to the SEIU, the median salary for a home-care worker is approximately $17,200 a year. More than half of home-care workers are on some form of public assistance such as food stamps. They are overwhelmingly female and far more likely to be people of colour than the general population.