As the nation awaits the results of the Iowa Caucuses, home care and hospice stakeholders have reasons to pull for Hillary Clinton and John Kasich. At least, that’s according to an organization representing approximately 6,000 home health care providers.
When it comes to home care and hospice, Ohio Gov. John Kasich and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton are the U.S. presidential candidates with the best records, according to the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC).
Clinton, a Democrat, and Kasich, a Republican, were chosen by NAHC from a group that originally included 20 presidential candidates. Both have spoken of a history of supporting home care and hospice.
For example, during a recent presidential debate, Kasich said eliminating the longstanding institutional bias that channeled aged, infirm and disabled Ohioans into nursing homes and other institutions was one of his most important achievements, NAHC noted.
“You see, all of my career, I’ve fought about giving voice to the people that I grew up with and voice to the people that elected me… [For example] taking on the special interests in the nursing home industry in Ohio, so that mom and dad can have the ability to stay in their own home, rather than being forced into a nursing home,” Kasich said in his closing remarks.
Kasich’s advocacy and leadership allowed seniors to move in greater numbers into a variety of in-home care programs, NAHC added.
Meanwhile, Clinton was a strong advocate for home care and hospice when she served as a member of the U.S. Senate, NAHC said. She worked to boost access to in-home care programs like Medicaid and Medicare, and she has a record of fighting the imposition of copayments that mandated seniors to pay a “sick tax” before they could access home care services in 1997 and 2003.
Clinton has also included frequent references to home care during her presidential campaign. For instance, on Nov. 22, 2015, she introduced a proposal that would permit families to deduct as much as $6,000 per year that they had spent to provide home care to their parents from federal income taxes.
“We need to recognize the value of the work that caregivers give to all of us, both those who are paid and the great number who are unpaid,” Clinton said. “The lost wages and the work that is sometimes given up are costing families—especially women—who make up the majority of both paid and unpaid caregivers.”
Written by Mary Kate Nelson