Thursday, July 14, 2011

Respect Your Elders? Not So Much

State budget cuts almost always mean that those budgets are balanced on the backs of the poor and the elderly; those most in need of services themselves. Many states and municipalities are drastically cutting their home health care budgets for seniors, because they aren't required programs. These same states are cutting their Medicaid budgets as well, which means more seniors and people with disabilities will wind up in nursing homes - even though living on their own is cheaper. The logic is stupefying.

From the

"Just because you cut the budget doesn't mean their needs go away," said Anita Bradberry, executive director of the Texas Association for Home Care & Hospice Inc.

Medicaid, the state-federal program that pays for medical and long-term care for the poor and disabled, is required to help fund nursing homes but not home care and community services.

Because the programs are not required, most states first look at cutting home health care funded through Medicaid, even though such programs are much cheaper than nursing homes.

Then there's this story from Strafford County, NH. In Foster's Daily Democrat:
"It'll be the first time since 1972 that we will have to institute a waiting list," said Strafford Nutrition Meals on Wheels Director Emily Sylvain, the day before her new fiscal year kicked in on July 1.

The nonprofit agency, which, according to Sylvain, has had annual level funding from state and federal sources of $516,000 for the past 12 years, is now having to deal with the loss of $75,000 in county funding.

A waiting list. For elderly people to get meals. I'm so ashamed for my state.

cross-posted at MainSt/

No comments: