The Des Moines Register had an article on a new fee on most nursing homes in Iowa. The idea is for the state to create a provider fee on nursing homes, then use the extra money to boost nurse’s aides’ wages and for other expenses for caring for low-income elderly Iowans. The bill would impose a 3 percent fee on non-Medicare revenues of licensed nursing facilities. The plan would tap about $33 million for the state. The state would then increase Medicaid payments to nursing homes and draw in nearly $41 million extra each year in federal money. Of the 421 nursing homes that would pay the tax, about 415 would get back more in government money than they paid out, according to a nursing home group called the Iowa Health Care Association.
The Iowa Senate passed the idea 45-5 with bipartisan support. Thirteen Republican senators and all 32 Democratic senators voted yes.
I wish the federal government would do this for all nursing homes. We, as a country, need to make sure that the people providing care to our elderly and most vulnerable citizens are getting paid a fair and living wage.