Hit and Run: Healthcare Reform Unlikely to Cure Trauma of Workers’ Compensation

by Vins

Washington is finally grappling with the equity gap in the health system for consumers, and momentum is gaining for a fairer government-run single-payer system. Yet, for all the promise of the “Medicare for All” proposal, there’s surprisingly little discussion on how an overhaul of our health-care system would affect the people delivering our care.

Less and less of healthcare costs are ending up in the pockets of the hospice nurses, long-term care providers and others who care for those who cannot care for themselves.

The new single-payer legislation in Congress, alongside parallel state-level proposals, promise free care for all. But regardless of the outcome of health-care reform, hospital-based institutions are set to consolidate and downsize, and workers will be left with more work for less pay.

While the employment of caregivers has grown significantly, the median earnings of this group fell 2.4% between 2005 to 2015, with most of those drops coming from outpatient workers.

Meanwhile, Insurers’ profits and health-care costs grew steadily during the same period.

Source: Michelle Chen, “How Would ‘Medicare for All’ Help Health-Care Workers?” The Nation, September 28, 2017, https://www.thenation.com/article/how-would-medicare-for-all-help-healthcare-workers/.

Student Researcher: Derek LoBrutto (Indian River State College)

Faculty Evaluator: Elliot D. Cohen (Indian River State College)