Recent proposed cuts under the state Senate budget not only affect programs and services for older adults, they also impact North Carolina’s population with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities, says one concerned mother.
David is fulfilling every dream I formulated for him. He has a vision for his future. He is happy, healthy and a contributing member of his community. He is a success story! And his success story is a success for the State of N.C. and the Medicaid budget! How do I know this? Because I am a bean counter by trade, and so I researched the cost of David’s current NC Innovations Plan as compared to the cost to Medicaid if he were warehoused in a group home and a sheltered workshop. He languished one year in a workshop, and while he had been mostly independent before he went there, he suddenly needed full supervision with hand-over-hand assistance in the workshop. This allowed the workshop to bill Medicaid for each hour he was at the facility. In addition, while there, he lost important social and communication skills, gained weight and was unhappy and lonely. The cost of this placement per year exceeded his current placement by $100,000 annually.
Without appropriate support such as what he is getting currently, he will lose his employment and daily living assistance which keeps him healthy, active and contributing. He will become more dependent and will end up costing the system much more. Our legislators, once again, are taking a short-term view of a long-range issue, and they will, in effect, take the opportunity of persons with I/DD back 50 years! In addition, this will end up costing the state much much more than supporting these persons today!
The Senate’s DHHS budget proposal will eliminate Medicaid coverage for 12,000 elderly, blind and disabled people; cut state funding for school nurses; slash nearly $1 million from a Home and Community Care Block Grant that offers in-home services to poor older North Carolinians; among other significant cuts.
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