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Urgent Advocacy Needed on Wage Mandate in State Budget

HCA asks all members to call their State Senators. Request them to immediately contact Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins to reconsider the Senate’s home care wage proposal, substituting it with HCA’s alternative plan in the budget.

The Senate’s wage mandate proposal has gained new momentum since the weekend, and HCA understands that it is being directly discussed at the legislative leaders level in budget negotiations.

Contacting Your Senator

The Senate’s one-house proposal has built strong and increased backing from a number of sources driving it in the final state budget negotiations.

Please call your Senator’s office today using our “legislator look-up” tool¬†here. HCA offers the following message points to use in your outreach with Senators:

  • Please contact Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins today and urge her to table the Senate’s current home care wage mandate and replace it with an alternative advanced by the Home Care Association of New York State (HCA).
  • While well-intended, the Senate’s home care wage mandate is not the way to fix the problem. It is inequitably and inadequately funded, and relies on short-term appropriations at a time when permanent workforce investment is urgently needed through a common-sense rate structure appropriately funding home and community-based services.
  • As a home care provider in your district, I support higher wages, but wage levels should be based on the amount of funding available to cover such costs, which is why I urge you to instead adopt HCA’s alternative proposal.
  • HCA’s proposal would provide funds for compensation support. It offers a methodical rate structure for worker wages so that organizations like mine can, in turn, support enhanced compensation at a time of rising costs when the majority of home care providers are operating in the red amid historic levels of financial erosion in home care, hospice and managed long term care.

Background Information

While HCA supports higher wages in home care, HCA opposes the Senate’s mandate, which provides no guaranteed long-term provider rate financing structure to support worker compensation equitably across home care programs and payors.

The current funds being considered for minimum wage in the budget are one-time Medicaid-only appropriations, even though the proposed mandate would likewise require employers to meet higher aide wage requirements for provider services under Medicare, commercial insurance, and private pay but with no such financial coverage.

HCA’s plan would, rather, provide new funds and make those funds a determinant of higher wages, as distinct from the Senate’s proposal which approaches the matter inversely: by making the mandate a primary course, with funding only secondary and provisional.