Capitol Correspondence - 03.07.23

Senate HELP Committee Seeks Input on Health Care Workforce Shortage

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On Thursday, Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee Chair Bernie Sanders (I-VT) and Ranking Member Bill Cassidy (R-LA) released a letter seeking input from stakeholders on how to address the ongoing health care workforce shortage. The letter comes as the health care industry is facing a critical shortage of workers, with an aging population and increased demand for health care services exacerbating the problem. 

The shortage of health care workers has a significant impact on individuals with disabilities, who often require specialized care and support. Direct support professionals are crucial to ensuring that individuals with disabilities are able to live independently and access the care and services they need. However, the direct support workforce is facing its own set of challenges, including low wages, high turnover rates, and limited training and professional development opportunities. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the critical importance of health care workers, and many advocates are calling for increased investment in the health care workforce. This includes ensuring that the direct support workforce is adequately supported and compensated. By doing so, we can improve the quality of care for individuals with disabilities and other vulnerable populations, while also strengthening the broader health care system as a whole. 

Without a strong and stable direct support workforce, individuals with disabilities may be unable to access the care and support they need, leading to decreased quality of life and increased health care costs for the Medicaid system.