NC GOP looks to cut pay for Alzheimer's care

Taking budget-cutting to a disgusting level:

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.


Been there, done that, got the t-shirt

My father passed away over ten years ago due to complications from Alzheimer's. In the end, the brain simply cannot keep up with all the intricate organ management functions required to keep you alive. It's not a pretty sight, and the look on the face of somebody who doesn't know why their body isn't working properly is a heartbreaker.

But before the end comes, there are (sometimes several) years of declining cognitive abilities. And as each ability disappears, the need for someone to step in and render assistance becomes more frequent. Since the patient very often doesn't know who you are or what you're trying to do, these encounters take on the air of a conflict. It takes an unbelievable amount of skill and patience to feed, bathe, clothe, etc., and the conflict can seem never-ending.

To expect the proper level of care for $15 per hour is already unrealistic. To cut that even more is (possibly criminally) negligent. The reality for many who suffer from Alzheimer's is, that care simply won't be available. If they're lucky enough to have family members in the area, those people will have to leave work on a regular basis to fill in the gap of service. As long as they can keep the job, that is.


Tax cuts for millionaires vs. a decent wage for Alzheimer's caregivers?

It amazes me how they can

cut taxes for the rich, and then turn around and complain about not having enough money to do what needs to be done. Actually it doesn't amaze me, it sickens me. The irresponsibility is breathtaking.

Eating up the budget

The extremists in charge of the Jones Street House of Pain decided that cutting taxes for Art Pope and friends was a higher priority than collecting the half-billion dollars of revenue that was budgeted back when we had sane fiscal management (and that might have funded Alzheimer's care and many other things).

Regarding the severe financial constraints this imposes on the people of North Carolina:

“There’s not going to be an easy answer and a painless answer,” Blust never said. “And it is just chewing up the budget.”

"I will have a priority on building relationships with the minority caucus. I want to put substance behind those campaign speeches." -- Thom Tillis, Nov. 5, 2014