Friday, March 30, 2012

Home health aide pay is getting more attention, and it needs to


Dean Baker and Steven L. Dawson has an important op-ed on p A15 of the Friday March 30, 2012 Washington Post, “Home care: a calling but also a job”, titled online as “Home health aides deserve a living wage”, link

lBaker is co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research (website url link).  Dawson is president of the Paraprofessional Healthcare Institute (website url link). 

The authors talk about the “companionship exemption” (established in 2007 by the Supreme Court for live-ins in a case in Long Island, NY), but don’t get far into the practice of hiring hourly aides for home care as independent contractors, possibly illegally.

The last paragraph of the piece here is disturbing, referring to a social expectation that women leave the workplace to take care of aging parents.  Generally, this can happen to all childless people, the “family slave” problem.  The authors point out the need for two incomes (although social conservatives like Santorum have been blaming women and even gays for that – by competing for the “family wage”)  and the authors write “the country needs a national solution that helps us all meet our family responsibilities.”   Just what is going on in the Supreme Court?  Seriously, family responsibility doesn’t wait for pregnancy to start.  It’s already there.

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