Opinion | Underpaid Home Care Aides

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To the Editor:

Re “A Tale of Two Home-Care Workers,” by Brigid Schulte and Cassandra Robertson (Opinion guest essay, May 11):

This year has shown us the value of home health care workers, while also shining a light on how undercompensated they are. Another part of the employee/employer dynamics of home health care work is the prevailing use of an agency to connect clients and the home care workers.

The cost to the client is often about $30 an hour, while the wage earned by the worker can be less than half of that, with the rest going to the agency. These women often aren’t even guaranteed a weekly minimum of hours, or given paid leave or benefits.

Both my mother and mother-in-law needed home health care for years, and when we could we tried to find help that we could pay directly. That meant the aide made more and the cost to our mothers was less. It is unconscionable that many of these health care workers aren’t paid a living wage for the invaluable work they do — another reason to re-examine our for-profit health care system.

Olivia McCullough
Providence, R.I.

Money for Refugee Resettlement

To the Editor:

Re “In Reversal, Biden Raises Limits on Refugees” (front page, May 4):

As a primary-care physician, I welcome resettled refugees with open arms. But my refugee clinic is empty; we have not had a new refugee in more than six months.

President Biden’s decision to raise the resettlement ceiling to 62,500 is a necessary step in restoring the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. But this move will require significant funding and operational support.

President Donald Trump’s budget cuts to resettlement infrastructure led to closing nearly one in three offices of the program’s community affiliates. One of two agencies in my state has closed, and the other, mine, has had to cut staff and services. Such a reduction restricts the capacity of these sites to manage rapid expansion in resettlement.

In rebuilding the Refugee Admissions Program, Mr. Biden has an opportunity to restore the world’s faith — and ours — in America’s humanity.

My refugee clinic remains empty, but our door remains open.

Matthew Lorenz
Providence, R.I.

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