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EDITORIAL: Low Wages Affect Care Quality for Child with Disabilities

August 20, 2013

In a recent editorial, a Michigan mother writes that low wages for direct-care workers have made it difficult to secure consistent, quality care for her daughter, who has a disability.

Writing for the Battle Creek Enquirer, communications professional Karmel Puzzuoli cites PHI data (pdf) showing that wages for direct-care workers in Michigan “fall substantially below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.”

“With a shifting Michigan economy — one less dependent on manufacturing and more dependent on health care jobs — the plight of direct-care workers will affect almost all of us personally,” writes Puzzuoli.

Puzzuoli’s daughter has received assistance from a “revolving door” of home care workers over the last year, she writes. These workers have ranged from “excellent” to “indifferent.”

A good first step to securing better wages and benefits for home care workers, Puzzuoli argues, would be for Michigan to expand Medicaid eligibility through the Affordable Care Act.

A bill that would expand Medicaid eligibilty to 450,000 additional Michiganders is expected to be voted on after the state Senate returns from its summer recess on August 27.

For more information on information about Michigan and Medicaid expansion, contact PHI Midwest Program and Policy Manager Tameshia Bridges.

— by Matthew Ozga

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