Sen. Markey, House Leaders Announce Bill to Raise Hazard Pay, Protect Health Care Workers


Bill text (PDF) | Overview document (PDF)

WASHINGTON (May 25, 2023) – Sen. Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Rep. Summer Lee (PA-12), Barbara Lee (CA-12), Law Khanna (CA- 17) today led colleagues to announce the introduction of Hazard allowance for healthcare heroes. The bill would allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to issue hazard pay-related subsidies of up to $13 per hour, or $25,000 per year, and additional safety measures, such as personal protective equipment (PPE). You are authorized to implement. ) and alternative transportation. Provided for essential workers in medical and support services who provide immediate or uninterrupted medical assistance to patients during emergencies and extreme weather disasters.

Massachusetts medical facilities were hit by a severe cold front last winter, flooding emergency rooms at the Boston Medical Center and Tufts Medical Center due to burst pipes. The Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health reports that Boston is one of the coastal cities most likely to experience medical disruption during a hurricane. A new study published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology finds that simultaneous heatwaves and power outages in Phoenix, Arizona, cause severe heat-related illnesses, requiring emergency treatment for nearly half of the city’s residents. It turned out to be possible. Understanding the need to maintain continuity of care and protect patients in the event of extreme weather disasters exacerbated by climate change; Hazard allowance for healthcare heroes Provide federal funds to strengthen health care systems and keep workers safe during emergencies.

“Healthcare workers are at the forefront of our country’s dual public health and climate crises, treating and caring for the communities hardest hit by extreme weather and environmental disasters.” said Senator Markey. “These heroes deserve more than our gratitude. They deserve better pay and better protection. Hazard allowance for healthcare heroes Ensure that health care workers responding to these emergencies are paid hazard pay and given the safety tools they need to protect their patients and themselves. ”

“I have fought for fair wages and safe conditions for hospital workers from my time as a host and state legislator all the way to Congress. They will come to you, even if it means risking their own lives.” Said Representative of Summer Lee. “The time has come for us to show up for them with wages and protection, not just appendages. Public health and environmental crises, from pandemics and train derailments to climate change disasters. As threats are becoming more frequent and dangerous, we need bold action, starting with: Risk allowance law for health care workers To protect healthcare workers, patients, and the communities they care for by providing them with the hazard pay and safety tools they need to keep our loved ones safe in an emergency. ”

“Our frontline health workers deserve financial security and safe working conditions, especially when dealing with pandemics, natural disasters and extreme weather events.” said Rep. Barbara Lee. “Congress can and should invest more in these heroes by providing them with better salaries and stronger protective equipment. Hazard allowance for healthcare heroes By providing hazard pay to frontline healthcare workers, we do just that by empowering them to protect themselves and have the courage to continue to serve patients. I am proud to be a part of this effort with Rep. Lee and Sen. Markey. ”

“Every day, millions of healthcare workers risk their own safety to care for people during a crisis. As we navigate through this, it is important to ensure that health care workers also receive appropriate care.” said Khanna. “I am proud to lead the world Hazard allowance for healthcare heroes For them with Senator Ed Makey, Rep. Summer Lee, and Rep. Barbara Lee. Because they deserve fair compensation, increased security measures, and recognition for everything they do. ”

Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) and Rep. Cori Bush (MO-01), Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (New York) -14), Rashida Traib (Michigan-01) 12), Jamal Bowman (NY-16), Delia Ramirez (IL-03), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Gwen Moore (WI-04) ), Lisa Brandt Rochester (DE), Shontel Brown (OH-11), Andre Carson (IN-07), John Carter (TX-31), Greg Casal (TX-35), Jim Kleiber Ng (SC-06), Jonathan Jackson (IL-01), Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18), Hank Johnson (GA-04), Jennifer McClellan (VA-04), Kwaish Mufum (MD- 07), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Ayanna Presley (MA-07), Marilyn Strickland (WA-10), Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12), Nikema Williams (GA-05) ) is a sponsor.

A copy of the law can be found here. A copy of the brief can be found here.

in particular, Hazard allowance for healthcare heroes We fund the following:

  1. Provides up to $25,000 annual medical accident benefits to essential workers during a declared emergency or disaster.
  2. Provide healthcare workers with necessary safety measures, such as personal protective equipment. and,
  3. Ensure safer alternative transportation options for healthcare workers whose commutes are unsafe due to the disaster.

The legislation is endorsed by the American Federation of Teachers, American Association of Nursing and Midwives, Hispanic Medical Association, Massachusetts Nursing Association, Climate and Community Projects, TransHealth, Worcester Family Health Center, and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center.

“This bill will ensure that essential health workers are supported during disasters. Often putting their own health and well-being at risk, this is an important step forward in recognizing the invaluable contribution they have made to our country, which is an important step forward in the face of the challenges of the future. to strengthen their resilience and help strengthen our health system, which is a vital investment not only for our workforce, but for the health of our people.” Dallas Ducard, CEO of TransHealth, said:

“Our essential healthcare workers are responding to crises when we are called upon. The recent COVID-19 pandemic is proof of that. and respond to emergencies.That’s what our workers are and what we do.”Matt Yarnell, president of SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, said: “But I salute and thank Senator Lee and Senator Markey for recognizing that essential workers will also need support, hazard pay, appropriate protective equipment and PPE in the event of a new crisis. The next public health and climate-related emergency will undoubtedly come, and we must be prepared and ready for our employees to respond with all the necessary resources and leadership. ”

“The COVID-19 pandemic has burned out and traumatized healthcare workers on the front lines of a global health crisis without proper safety gear and mental health resources. We applaud them night after night, but nurses, respiratory technicians and other professionals are still subject to grueling hours, low wages and dangerous working conditions, all of which are the next to face health hazards. It will threaten their health again when the time comes.Urgent.Senator Markey Hazard allowance for healthcare heroes Providing funding now to ensure we are prepared for the next crisis will ensure that this vital workforce is protected. And as our medical professionals face ongoing challenges such as dangerous patient levels, psychological injury, and workplace violence, consider these heroes, and your entry into the field. It is more important than ever to let people who are in the world know that we believe they deserve more. Words of praise. As the fastest growing medical union in the country, AFT fully supports this bill. ” Randy Weingarten, president of the American Teachers Federation, said:

Senator Markey has long championed efforts to advance climate and health justice to protect communities and their public health. In May, Senator Markey and Congressman Lauren Underwood (IL-14) introduced the bill. Protect mothers and babies from climate change laws, to address climate change risks to pregnant and postnatal people and their babies. In the same month, Senator Markey said: Local Mental Health and Resilience Laws Bipartisan with Rep. Paul Tonko (NY-20) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (PA-01) to establish a first-of-its-kind $36 million pilot grant program through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and introduced a bicameral bill. Fund local community-based mental wellness and resilience programs. Last month, Sen. Markey and Rep. Khanna said: green new deal for health Helping America’s healthcare system adapt to climate change by improving sustainability and supporting patients, providers, and communities.

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