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National Domestic Workers Alliance Celebrates Historic Long-Term Care Advancements Announced by Vice President Harris

WASHINGTON, D.C. — APRIL 22, 2024 — The National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers across the country, celebrates the latest and final measures announced by Vice President Kamala Harris today to improve safety, support for care workers, and expand access to affordable, high-quality care. These advancements are a testament to the sustained efforts and advocacy of care workers nationwide.

Today, Vice President Harris announced the final rules designed to protect those in long-term care and enhance the quality of caregiving jobs. This announcement – coming after a series of efforts for Care Workers Recognition Month – includes significant improvements to nursing home care standards and ensuring fair compensation for home care workers, demonstrating a strong commitment to the safety and dignity of both care recipients and providers.

“In a continuation of their commitment during Care Workers Recognition Month, we are witnessing the Biden Harris administration make historic strides toward a more supportive and sustainable care infrastructure. The Vice President’s announcement underscores a transformative era for care work,” said Ai-jen Poo, President of the National Domestic Workers Alliance. “This month alone, through collective action and advocacy, we’ve propelled the care conversation forward at the highest levels of government. I am thrilled to see the outcomes of the care movement’s persistent vision—a brighter future for both care workers and those they support. Too many families in the United States are struggling to find affordable care due to a shortage of care workers, who, on average, make only $23 thousand annually. To solve this care crisis, we must increase care workers’ wages and ensure that they can afford to take care of not only our families but themselves and their families, too. Together, we continue to elevate the care profession, ensuring it receives the recognition and respect it rightfully deserves.”

The “Ensuring Access to Medicaid Services Rule” marks a crucial step towards improving access to home-based care, mandating that at least 80% of Medicaid payments for home care services are directed to workers’ wages. Not only will this improve the livelihoods of care workers, but this rule will enhance the quality of care for over seven million aging adults and people with disabilities, ensuring they receive the support they need in their communities.

Recognizing the essential labor of direct care workers, which constitutes the majority of service costs for the assistance with daily activities provided through Medicaid’s Home and Community Based Services, the rule aims to limit administrative expenses and ensure that funds are primarily used to compensate the workforce. 

Moreover, the rule introduces robust mechanisms for transparency and adequacy of payment rates. This includes data collection and forming an advisory group that includes direct care workers to ensure informed decision-making in increasing payment rates for better wages. These strategic steps are designed to bolster the home care services sector, stabilize the workforce, and secure continuous, high-quality care for those in need.

The “Nursing Home Minimum Staffing Rule” is set to transform care quality in nursing homes across the country by requiring adequate staffing levels to address care safety and worker support. This rule mandates that facilities receiving federal funding through Medicare and Medicaid provide a minimum of 3.48 hours of care per resident per day, significantly impacting the standard of care provided to 1.2 million Americans in nursing homes.  

NDWA is proud to be among the leaders advocating for monumental advancements similar to the ones announced today by Vice President Harris, which are crucial to improving care workers’ livelihoods and sustainability of care work across the nation. 

National Domestic Workers Alliance Inc. is a non-partisan 501(c)(3) charitable organization that does not endorse, support or oppose candidates for public office.


National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA)
National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) is the leading voice for dignity and fairness for millions of domestic workers in the United States. Founded in 2007, NDWA works for respect, recognition and inclusion in labor protections for domestic workers, the majority of whom are immigrants and women of color. NDWA is powered by over 70 affiliate organizations and local chapters and by a growing membership base of nannies, house cleaners and care workers in over 20 states. Learn more at NDWA is a non-partisan non-profit organization that does not endorse, support, or oppose any candidates for public office.