Build Back Better Would Help Home Care Patients and Workers. The “Freedom” Foundation Says That’s a Terrible Idea.

According to the White House, more than 800,000 older Americans and Americans struggling with disabilities are on Medicaid waiting lists to receive funding for home care. One of the goals of the Build Better Act (BBBA) is to “deliver affordable, high-quality care for older Americans and people with disabilities in their homes, while supporting the workers who provide this care.” That means not just expanding home care funding, but also ensuring that the care workers are compensated fairly and receive the training they need to succeed. 

Predictably, anti-worker groups like the “Freedom” Foundation are vocally opposing the plan. Their policy analyst Max Nelsen just published a pseudo-report collecting his complaints on that portion of the BBBA, entitled Stop the Spread. Nelsen protests that more home care workers would have union membership, [pages 1&2] a central priority of the plan that would ensure fair wages and benefits. He also calls the intended training model for home care workers (based on the ones currently used in Washington State) “of questionable utility” [page 2] that “fail to produce intended results.” [page 8]

Nelsen’s anti-worker language echoes a previous report he wrote condemning paid sick leave, in which he called the family-protecting law “worse than the disease.” A report by the Economic Policy Institute estimated that the average worker without access to paid sick leave who needs to stay home for three days lost wages that amounted to a household’s entire monthly grocery budget. The “Freedom” Foundation’s opposition to pro-worker legislation is consistent and deplorable.

Fortunately for working people on the West Coast, the “Freedom” Foundation has failed miserably at advancing their anti-worker agenda. Since the “Freedom” Foundation’s launch of their anti-union campaign seven years ago, Oregon, California, and Washington have all passed mandatory paid sick leave laws while the unions for home care workers have steadily grown stronger. Nelsen’s research will be similarly disregarded as Congress prepares to make huge improvements for the hundreds of thousands of Americans who need care at home, and for the workers providing it.