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Public investment in home healthcare in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic: A win–win strategy

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.

Highlights

  • 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.

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