Health Aides and Political Endorsements
September 29th, 2005

WNYC’s Brian Lehrer Show (which currently features a series entitled Thirty Issues in Thirty Days focused on the NYC and New Jersey elections) looked at the plight of the city’s home health care workers, who work for below poverty wages and receive no health care.

The system works like this: Medicare and Medicaid pay roughly $20 an hour for home health services. A non-profit agency that manages the case keeps about a third of the money. They then contract with a for-profit agency that takes another 25 percent.

The home health worker ends up making $7 an hour and receives no benefits.

Putting 25,000 home health care workers on the city’s payroll would help address the problem. That is why health care union Local 1199 reportedly approached Mayor Michael Bloomberg with the idea. The mayor rejected it, arguing it would cost the city $1 billion. The union decided to endorse Fernando Ferrer.

But the plight of the workers was lost in most of the 1199 endorsement-for-jobs stories.

“Finding a way to get that done would be a perfect topic for the mayoral campaign,” wrote the Daily News editorial page. “It would make a far greater difference in people’s lives than resolving the question of who said what to whom about a political endorsement.”

By on September 29, 2005, 7:48 pm
In category: Electoral Politics,Health,Social Services | Comments Off on Health Aides and Political Endorsements

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