The possibility that some elderly and disabled people would be kicked off the Medicaid rolls has the long-term care industry mobilizing to fight it, saying the reduction would threaten the ability of some facilities to stay open.
“We’ve got a damn bunch of ignorant people in the state legislature,” said Chester Broadway, 73, who had his leg amputated as a result of an infection and uses a wheelchair. He moved into The Covington about a year ago.
“If they were in this position, they wouldn’t be doing it,” he said.
You're right, Chester. But they don't run in the same circles as you and I.
Families dealing with Alzheimer’s disease, and the care providers they hire, are sweating over proposed cuts to state Medicaid payments for elder care. The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services is looking for a $2.40 an hour decrease in what it pays for in-home and in-facility care. The new rate would be $13.12 an hour per person.
“There’s not going to be an easy answer and a painless answer,” Blust said. “And it is just chewing up the budget.”
The problem is, you would rather inflict real pain on those who are virtually helpless, instead of inflicting imaginary pain on the wealthiest of individuals in our state. Here's some scientific reality for you, Einstein: just as improvements in battlefield trauma treatment have created many more crippled (yet living) soldiers than we had from previous wars, medical breakthroughs that have extended the average lifespan of people have created a growing group of those who succumb to Alzheimer's and other brain-related diseases. And cutting the income of caregivers will only result in unnecessary suffering, and likely injuries that could/should have been prevented, which will eat up those labor-saving dollars. Don't do it.
We have seen this exact plan play out in a number of states. In Kentucky, there is chaos. The state auditor there began a probe when he heard reports that small medical providers needed new lines of credit to stay open. In the first several months of implementation, the auditor discovered, managed-care companies received $708 million from the state and paid out just $420 million in claims.
When you have a multiple-tier system with a private entity disbursing public funds to other private entities, that pie is going to get sliced to death before it gets to the hands-on care provider. Again, it ain't rocket science. And it's not like NC doesn't already have a disaster of its own to reference:
"They can have an eight-second sound bite that makes (me) look like an evil, cruel cold-hearted person, and the explanation of why 'no, this was the better of two bad choices' takes awhile, so we do have our necks out," said Rep. John Blust, R-Guilford.
Excuse me, but your neck is out? What about the tens of thousands of North Carolinians who will either not get the medical treatment they need or will be crushed with medical debt, simply because lawyers like you would rather see them walk through your private-practice door looking for bankruptcy help, than have NC's Federal tax dollars come back to this state? Your necks might be out politically, but that's what happens when you pull evil, cruel-hearted tricks on the people.
Submitted by Together NC on Tue, 01/01/2013 - 11:53am
TWO THOUSAND TWELVE was a difficult year for public investments in North Carolina. We saw even more cuts to vital services on which the entire state depends, and the inadequate funding so many of our schools and other public structures have suffered through since the start of the Great Recession has become the new baseline by which some NC lawmakers will judge future spending decisions.
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