Minimum Wage Hike Will Have Consequences

To The Readers’ Forum:

Governor Cuomo’s proposed minimum wage increase, while well-intentioned, would have devastating consequences for New York’s home care industry.

Everyone agrees that home care workers deserve to be paid more. They provide valuable services for elderly, chronically ill and disabled New Yorkers who need assistance with daily living. But with an industry that is primarily funded by Medicaid and Medicare, it comes down to simple math: if government reimbursements do not keep up with our costs, we cannot sustain our businesses.

Home care agencies in Western NY are already facing critical cash flow shortages due to steeply rising labor costs, inadequate reimbursements, and unfulfilled funding promises from the State – all while navigating a rapidly changing and increasingly complex health care system.

The governor’s proposed budget would increase costs for the home care industry by more than $1.1 billion over the next two years, but fails to provide any additional funding for the State’s Medicaid program. After years of declining margins, home care agencies cannot absorb a wage increase of this magnitude.

Governor Cuomo and the state Legislature have a responsibility to ensure that home care agencies will be there for New York’s most vulnerable citizens when they need it.

Sincerely,

Bader Peters Reynolds MS, RN

executive vice president/COO

on behalf of

CareGivers

111 West Second St.

Jamestown