As our readers know, many New Mexico caregivers and direct support staff work 2-3 jobs just to make ends meet. But, did you know that wages for Home Health Aides and Personal Care Assistants actually declined in real terms between 2008 and 2018?
New Mexico Caregivers Coalition is strongly urging our state leaders that all publicly-funded Medicaid provider rate increases be accompanied by the guarantee that a portion or percentage be set aside for frontline caregivers/direct support staff.
During the 2019 session, House Bill 143 called for at least half of the increased Medicaid reimbursement rate to providers be used to increase wages for workers. Ensuring that a dedicated proportion of public dollars are guaranteed for workers’ wages is an important first step to a better economy. And, while Governor Grisham’s 2019 minimum wage increase helps, state legislators continue to have a role in assuring livable wages for this vital workforce.
Raising wages for caregivers can be a boost to our local economy. For example, a Washington State analysis concluded that a $15 minimum wage for state-paid home care workers not only helped them cover basic needs, it provided $180+ million in annual stimulus to the state economy, creating more than 800 private sector jobs in the first year of implementation.
Join us in urging your legislator to ensure that public dollars result in guarantees of better wages for caregivers and direct support staff.
Your loved ones will thank you!