Congressman Horsford Introduces Legislation to Improve Nursing Home Care for Nevada Seniors
WASHINGTON D.C. — Today, Congressman Steven Horsford (D-NV-04), Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA-13), Congressman Steve Cohen (D-TN-09), and Congressman Jamaal Bowman (D-NY-16) introduced the Nursing Home Workforce Support and Expansion Act, a bill that would improve nursing home care by strengthening wages and benefits for long-term care workers. This legislation is included in the Elder Justice Reauthorization and Modernization Act of 2021, which was introduced in the House Ways and Committee earlier this month.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the strain on America’s long-term care workers, who faced low wages and challenging work conditions even before the current crisis,” said Congressman Steven Horsford. “My grandmother spent nearly three decades in a nursing home after a debilitating stroke, and I know the difference that high-quality care can make. The Nursing Home Workforce Support and Expansion Act will invest in long-term care workers — who are overwhelmingly women of color — to help nursing homes retain their vital skills while expanding the workforce by attracting new and diverse talent. I look forward to working with our partners to advance this legislation and ensure that long-term care workers have the support they need to protect our loved ones.”
“For too long, the caregiving workforce has been underpaid and undervalued for their critical work,” said Congresswoman Barbara Lee. “Women of color hold a majority of these roles and have risked their lives on the frontlines of this pandemic – including caring for the elderly in nursing homes. Guaranteeing fair wages, health care, and child care for our nation’s caregivers is a matter of racial and economic justice. I’m proud to work with Congressman Horsford to introduce the Nursing Home Workforce Support and Expansion Act.”
“As our population ages, it is important that staffing at our long-term care facilities keeps pace. I’m proud to cosponsor the Nursing Home Workforce Support and Expansion Act to bolster this critical element of our health care safety net by providing aid to recruit and retain qualified staff,” said Congressman Steve Cohen.
“Care is one of the strongest pillars of our economy, yet those who do this work — disproportionately Black and brown women, often immigrants — are undersupported, undervalued and undercompensated. Care workers have carried an even heavier burden throughout this pandemic, with little relief in sight. It’s absolutely essential that we invest in the well-being of our nursing home workforce, and I thank Rep. Horsford for leading on this important issue,” said Congressman Jamaal Bowman.
“Direct care workers are the heart of aging services, and the COVID pandemic has underscored the need to invest in this essential workforce,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge. “The Nursing Home Workforce Support and Expansion Act will help long-term care providers recruit and retain much-needed care professionals, leading to better care for millions of older Americans. LeadingAge thanks Congressman Horsford for championing this bill, which will help make America a better place to grow old.”
The Nursing Home Workforce Support and Expansion Act provides funding for grants to states to support workers providing in post-acute and long-term care (LTC) settings. The grants are provided to states and territories based on their population of adults over 65 years of age and people with disabilities, and to tribes and tribal organizations through a consultation process.
The Nursing Home Workforce Support and Expansion Act will help the long-term care industry be competitive in the job market. As job openings rise, long-term care facilities are losing qualified staff to other industries that have higher wages and better benefits. Turnover in the long-term care industry — which can be as high as 300 percent — has made it difficult for these facilities to put steady COVID-19 protections in place and provide high-quality care. Congressman Horsford’s legislation provides funding to pay long-term care workers competitive wages and offer stronger benefits, leading to lower turnover and better care for Nevadans who need long-term care. This legislation would also serve to attract, recruit, and retain new talent into the long-term care industry.
Funding from the Nursing Home Workforce Support and Expansion Act must be used to:
- Provide wage subsidies to employees in post-acute and long-term care positions
- Provide student loan repayment or tuition assistance to eligible individuals, who include long-term care workers and those training to be long-term care workers
- Guarantee affordable and accessible childcare for eligible individuals
- Provide transportation assistance to eligible individuals
Funding may be used to:
- Establish a reserve fund for emergency financial assistance
- Provide in-kind resource donations, such as interview clothing and conference attendance fees
- Provide assistance with activities designed to lower barriers to employment, including legal assistance
- Support eligible employers in offering not less than two weeks of paid leave per year
The Nursing Home Workforce Support and Expansion Act is supported by LeadingAge.
The full text of the bill can be found here.
A summary of the bill can be found here.
Geneva Kropper | email@example.com | 202-849-0251