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The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act

by | Apr 22, 2024 | News

Last 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.

In support of this legislation, National Alliance for Direct Support Professionals CEO and President, Joe Macbeth, recently shared, “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”.

Macbeth went on to say that, “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.”

The Problem: Due to decades of lack of investment by federal and state governments to address the stagnant wages for Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) in all settings, there are workforce shortages in all settings where people with disabilities live. Employee shortages, unsafe working conditions, low wages and lack of career pathways is the daily reality for DSPs in every district and in every state. The number one issue when it comes to the lack of access to long-term supports and services (LTSS) for disabled people is the workforce shortage. DSPs support individuals with disabilities in the community, in the work place, at home and sometimes in facility, based settings. The presence and assistance of DSPs allow people receiving services to lead the independent and full lives they choose. In most cases workers are the access to care and the community, and yet they have been undervalued for decades.

The Solution: The Long-Term Care Workforce Support Act is the answer. The bill would address the workforce shortages across the system that provides long-term care by:

  • Increasing wages for DSPs across settings
  • Addressing low Medicaid reimbursement rates with stakeholder input
  • Creating Career paths for DSPs
  • Training and Certification programs for Pathways into other care fields
  • Workplace Protection for DSPs
  • Wellbeing support for DSPs
  • Creates an Advisory Council of stakeholders to develop a national direct care compensation strategy

This bill would include increased Federal funding and state accountability and oversight to ensure that the direct care job quality improves, wages rise and to systemically address the workforce shortage for the first time in decades.

Connect with your Representative

Tell Your Representatives: Please co-sponsor and support the Long-term Care Workforce Support Act!

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