New Legislations in pipeline could potentially seriously impact seniors
The California State Senate is debating AB 241 by Assembly Member Tom Ammiano. This bill eliminates existing labor provisions in wage orders that keep home care costs affordable and accessible. If enacted this bill would dramatically increase the cost of care for seniors and their families. Seniors and their families rely on home care services that provide assistance and “companion care services” which keep seniors safe in their home.
Last year, Ammiano authored a similar bill, AB 889, that was vetoed by Governor Brown who raised the following questions in his veto message that summarizes the concerns of seniors and their families: “What will be the economic and human impact on the disabled or elderly person and their family of requiring overtime, rest and meal periods for an attendant who provides 24-hour care? What would be the additional costs and what is the financial capacity of those taking care of loved ones in the last years of life? Will it increase costs to the point of forcing people out of their homes and into licensed institutions?”
Home care advocates are very concerned that if enacted, AB 241 would price many families out of their home due to the increased costs and force them to make difficult decisions about where they live and receive care.
The ability for seniors to access affordable care is also jeopardized by another bill, AB 1217, by Assembly Member Bonnie Lowenthal. If enacted, AB 1217 will raise the cost of care of home care for seniors by at least 30-35%. The costs of the bill are the result of requiring home care aides to become certified by the state who will also manage and online registry of aides that includes where they work. Aides would be responsible to report to the state where they work in order for the state to have the information for the registry. This type of reporting is not required for any other care provider in California.
If these two bills are passed, it would make it extremely expensive for the seniors to live in their homes in the golden years of their lives. New legislations would raise the cost of care so prohibitively that it has the potential to bankrupt many seniors who wishes to live in their home in the last days of their lives.