In the last days of January 2022, just weeks before President Biden pledged to fund police departments across the U.S. workers, and advocates marked a year since the launched a new phase in the fight for home care jobs to meet the expected increase in demand for Home and Community Based Services (HCBS). Biden’s Build Back Better bill would have brought livable wages to a home care workforce of over 2.5 million, and that according to the U.S. The Bureau of Labor Statistics is projected to grow by 33% over the next 10 years (an increase of over 1 million jobs). Federal investment would expand services for the over 2 million people who rely on HCBS in the U.S., most of whom are elderly and people with disabilities. With over 800,000 people in the US on the waiting list to receive HCBS, federal investment in HCBS would help rebuild a healthcare infrastructure already strained beyond imagine by the global Covid pandemic by readying the US healthcare system through the medicaid system for the expected 60 percent increase in demand for HCBS over the next twenty years.
This reality was no less salient and chilling for the 11 Washington D.C. area artists who were commissioned back in January by the Care Is Essential Campaign, a coalition of home care workers and recipients of home care services and advocacy groups. As the artists created twenty 8ft murals (making their way across the country) dedicated to homecare workers and the fight for expanded HCBS they reflected on their personal connections with home care workers, those seeking HCBS, and to the fight for home care workers and HCBS.
LEFT OUT Magazine caught up with and interviewed the artists in the months following the unveiling of the art installation on the National Mall in Washington D.C. as the Care Is Essential Campaign continues its fight for federal investment in Home and Community Based Services, and the Biden Administration struggles to pick up the pieces after the breakdown of the Build Back Better bill.
Find the 20min interview on our YouTube Channel