Home healthcare – to the elderly and those with chronic health conditions – is growing in importance in the COVID-19 pandemic era. In the United States, public investment in home healthcare can be a win-win strategy for public health and economic security. Yet, home healthcare has remained chronically underpaid and neglected in the policy response to the COVID-19 crisis. This article examines the impacts of large-scale public investment in the home healthcare industry. It finds that such investment can stabilize employment for millions of low-income women and, through their renewed economic activity, create or stabilize employment in the sectors hardest hit by the pandemic and where low-income women are concentrated: non-home healthcare, food service, and retail. The study concludes it is crucial to push for robust investment in home healthcare as policymakers in the US consider major public support for a variety of industrial sectors.
In the pandemic, access to home healthcare is more important than ever before.
Public investment in the home healthcare workforce would support millions of jobs.
The home healthcare workforce is mainly made up of low-income women, disproportionately women of color.
Investment in home healthcare could motivate important public support for other care sectors.
Palladino, L. (2020). Public Investment in Home Healthcare in the United States During the COVID-19 Pandemic: A Win-Win Strategy. Feminist Economics, 1-17.