Biden wants more nurses in nursing homes but might need Medicaid boost

Promises to upgrade nursing home care made a cameo appearance in President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address for the second year running. But a cornerstone of his plan faces strong opposition as updated regulations begin to roll out.

Central to Biden’s plan are more caregivers – nurses as well as the assistants who do the bulk of the day-to-day work with residents. 

People who run nursing homes say the president’s proposal to set stringent staffing requirements is impractical, arguing the real problem is that the government doesn’t pay enough to hire the number of care workers recommended under federal guidelines. Some advocates for seniors say many nursing homes have plenty of money – they just need to spend more of it on staffing.