The WA Cares Fund program, which would provide workers in the state a lifetime benefit of $36,500, was set to begin collecting money through a payroll tax in January, but it was delayed while lawmakers made adjustments to address equity problems. Now the payroll deductions will begin in July 2023, and benefits will become available in 2026.
To contain the spread of covid, hospitals and nursing homes barred visits. The separation and isolation took a toll on patients and families. Florida is one of the latest states to ensure access for visitors.
Add nursing homes to the list of industries jolted by Amazon’s handsome hourly wages. Enticed by an average starting pay rate of $18 an hour and the potential for benefits and signing bonuses, low-wage workers are fleeing entry-level elder care for jobs packing boxes.
A federal allocation plan meant to ensure equitable distribution of powerful monoclonal antibody treatments for high-risk patients fails to prioritize nursing home residents, a population that remains particularly vulnerable even after vaccination.
As covid case numbers rise nationwide, Georgia and some other states have restricted the case count data they share publicly.
Aduhelm, approved by the Food and Drug Administration last month despite questions about its efficacy, could be prescribed to at least 1 million patients a year, for a price tag of about $56 billion. Experts suggest there might be better ways to spend that money.
The covid pandemic and President Joe Biden’s agenda — a planned $400 billion infusion of support — have focused national attention on the need to expand home- and community-based long-term care services designed to keep people out of nursing homes. But the need far outpaces the staffing.
Democrats in Congress and the states are devising strategies to expand health coverage — through the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid and a “public option.” But progress remains halting, at best. Meanwhile, lawmakers in Washington may have to agree on how to control prescription drug prices if they wish to finance their coverage initiatives. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Tami Luhby of CNN and Shefali Luthra of The 19th join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also, Rovner interviews Michelle Andrews, who reported and wrote last month’s KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a very expensive sleep study.
The number of Americans 65 and older is expected to nearly double in the next 40 years. Finding a way to provide and pay for the long-term health services they need won’t be easy.
Long-term care options are expensive and often out of reach for seniors and people with disabilities. The president has proposed a massive infusion of federal funding for home and community-based health services that advocates say will go a long way toward helping individuals and families.