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Clinton Proposal Focuses on Direct-Care Worker Wages, Training

November 24, 2015

Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D) has proposed a “Care Workers Initiative” to address the training, career advancement, and wage-related needs of the direct-care workforce.

In a fact sheet posted to her website on November 22, Clinton says that, as president, she would launch a “coordinated, government-wide initiative to address the challenges faced by care workers.”

The Care Workers Initiative would work on ways to strengthen training standards, create ladders and apprenticeships to allow direct-care workers to advance in their careers, and boost wages by improving health care payment policies.

It would also work towards creating new matching services registries designed to connect direct-care workers with consumers, as well as enhancing existing registries.

The Care Workers Initiative is one of several ways that Clinton plans to “invest in the caring economy.” The other ways include:

  • Implementing a 20 percent tax credit to defray the caregiving costs incurred by family caregivers
  • Allowing family caregivers who leave their jobs to continue to collect credits toward Social Security benefits
  • Investing $100 million over 10 years in respite care programs that help family caregivers

No other leading presidential candidate has issued a policy proposal directly related to caregiving, writes Forbes contributor Howard Gleckman.

“For the first time in years, maybe for the first time ever, a major presidential candidate has put family caregiving on the political front-burner,” Gleckman wrote in his November 23 column.

Though Gleckman comments that Clinton’s Care Worker Initiative is modest at best, he notes that she has “made the issue of caring for frail parents or younger people with disabilities a key plank in her campaign. She’s talking about it. And that will force other candidates to talk about it. That is an enormous step forward.”

— by Matthew Ozga

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