GRAY DAVIS: Governor to Funnel $100M into Elderly Program
Gov. Gray Davis (D) yesterday announced a plan to pump an additional $100 million into his $271 million "Aging with Dignity" program, the Alameda Times-Star reports. "It's not enough that California seniors are living longer. They should live better," Davis said. His latest proposal would boost pay for home health aides to $7.50 per hour this year and $1 per hour each year for the next five years, topping out at $11.50 per hour. In addition, the plan would add 60 cents an hour for health benefits this year. "One of the great ironies of the current system is we entrust the sick and elderly to caregivers who do not have care. ... For the first time, we are recommending that health care workers get care themselves," Davis said. Most of the state's 200,000 home care workers currently receive slightly more than minimum wage with no health care benefits. Other aspects of Davis' proposal include a $500 annual tax credit for families caring for seniors at home and $20 million to expand senior day care programs, as well as a $75,000 increase in penalties for negligent death cases in nursing homes (Horowitz, 5/17).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.