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ICYMI: CA Congressional Delegation Raises Concerns with HHS Over Home Care Workers’ Rights

August 10th, 2018

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On August 10th Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo (D-CA) led California’s Democratic congressional delegation in a letter to U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar expressing concern over the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ (CMS) proposed rule to restrict home care workers’ ability to voluntarily have union dues or health insurance automatically deducted from their paychecks. This proposal would have a disproportionate impact on California as they have the largest consumer direct home and community based service program in the nation.

“The home care workforce—which is 90 percent women, the majority of whom are women of color—is critical to the success of home and community based services and the ability to deliver high-quality home and community care,” wrote the lawmakers. “In California and across the nation, unions have partnered with home care workers to begin to stabilize and grow the workforce, raising wages and ensuring access to benefits like health insurance coverage and skills training to improve job conditions.”

The lawmakers continued, “If implemented as HHS currently intends, the proposed rule would unnecessarily deepen a growing care crisis. By making it more difficult for home care workers to join unions, the proposal will hinder the state’s ability to combat high turnover rates through increased pay, professional growth opportunities, and countering the isolation that has been found responsible for workforce instability and the deficit of workers. The negative impact of the proposed rule would not only be felt by the home care workers, but by the thousands of seniors and people with disabilities that rely on them to deliver care every day.”

The full text of the letter can be found here.

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