Carmel, CA : USA Today Highlights RIN 1235-AA05. This, And AB 889 and SB 411 Could Devastate Seniors Pocketbooks : View From A Private Duty Caregiverby Richard Kuehn on 02/20/12
It was great to see the Department of Labor's Proposed Rulemaking RIN 1235-AA05 debated in USA Today even though it was a fairly negative story. It said that home health care companies are leading the fight against an Obama administration proposal to require them to pay their workers minimum wage, despite the fact that this industry was one of the few to maintain profits during the worst of the recession. Family inHome Caregiving doesn't do home health, but we would be impacted in a similar manner as the home health industry if this Rulemaking is made official. The ridiculous thing about this article, in my opinion, is that it chastised the home health industry for making a profit during the recession and then went on to say that their profit margin was 2% from 2006-2008 and 4% from 2009-2011. The implication was that these companies could afford to pay workers much more. As anyone who has worked in the business world can attest, a 4% margin is very slim and can quickly evaporate if you lose a couple of big clients. Home health companies and private duty caregiving companies run on very thin margins and can ill afford to absorb more costs. But the article missed the whole point about this legislation. It's not about the profit margins of the companies providing caregivers, it's about the seniors receiving care. Currently, those requiring 24-hour care have two or three caregivers coming in and doing 12, 24 or sometimes up to 3 and 4 day shifts. In order to continue this continuity of care, they would have to pay double their current rate, which few of them could afford. To learn more about this issue, see the series of articles on my blog about the devastating impact RIN 1235-AA05 would have on seniors, doubling the cost of their private duty caregivers for those requiring 24-hour care. At Family inHome Caregiving, we never pay less than minimum wage and in fact pay more than most of our competitors. I'm on my way up to Sacramento now to lobby against two similar bills at the state level, AB 889 and SB 411. Wish me luck if you know anyone trying to help keep a friend or relative that is in their golden years safe and independent in their own home.