One clue to what Donald Trump might think about the importance of long-term care services is that Jamaica, New York, is home to a 228-bed nursing home named after his mother, Mary Trump.
Trump and his father, Fred Trump, donated some of the money used to build the facility
Hillary Clinton also helped cement her ties with labor organizations during the primary season by meeting with home care workers.
On the day Clinton accepted the Democratic nomination, the organizers of the Democratic National Convention started the main-stage events by sending out Henrietta Ivey, a Michigan home care worker who’s been campaigning to make the minimum wage for home care workers like her $15 per hour.
“I work two jobs at minimum wage and can barely make ends meet,” Ivey said. “No working American family should have to be forced to live in poverty.”
On the one hand, it’s great that both Trump and Clinton have an interest in long-term care issues (and running mates with practices experience with long-term care finance issues).
On the other hand, that Democrats think this is a good time to intentionally increase all home care workers’ hourly wage to $15 per hour seems… impractical.
In the real world, many families struggling to pay for home health care already strongly prefer undocumented workers to licensed aides, because the hourly costs and paperwork associated with obeying the rules are so daunting. Even today, when the country has a reasonable ability to pay for long-term care services, it seems as if raising the minimum wage might simply further increase the appeal of off-the-books workers, not do much to help the finances of people like Henrietta Ivey, who are working within the official system for the conscientious, law-abiding employers.
In 20 years, when large numbers of baby boomers are moving into the oldest-old stage of life, the idea of trying to use something as flimsy as a minimum-wage law to control the Silver Tsunami may be about as practical as trying to control the ocean with a teaspoon. We’ll want to do this. We’ll want to do that. Peep peep peep, we’ll say, as the ocean washes over us.