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 Maennle at work with Graham County EMS as part of the maintenance crew following his graduation from a post-secondary education program. His education was made possible by Medicaid waiver services he received. Maennle hopes to be an EMT someday.

David Maennle at work with Graham County EMS as part of the maintenance crew following his graduation from a post-secondary education program. His education was made possible by Medicaid waiver services he received. Maennle hopes to be an EMT someday.

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!

Click here to read the rest of David’s story.

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.

Read more about the personal experiences of those who stand to be affected and their families on NC Policy Watch’s “Your Soapbox” feature.

Do you have a story to share? We want to hear from you. Tell us about your experiences using the submission form here.




Funding for Medicaid and other health services in North Carolina have been tremendously beneficial to the elderly and those with disabilities. Folks like Randolph Reid, thanks to care services programs like PACE of the Triad, are able to improve physical, mental and spiritual health leading to a better life. And for Margaret Toman, whose mother who has advanced Alzheimer’s, such services had allowed her to work full time while her mother received the care needed.

Leaders in the Senate have proposed massive cuts to these services, which serve the state’s poor, disabled and elderly. The cuts include eliminating Medicaid coverage for nearly 12,000 elderly blind or disabled people and a $1 million reduction to a popular program that delivers meals and provides in-home health services to the elderly.


Here at NC Policy Watch, we want to hear more from people and their families who stand to be affected by cuts to Medicaid and other health and human services.

What are your experiences? Tell us your story using the submission form here.


Only days after the passing of Civil Rights icon Maya Angelou, another elder, one of my personal heroines, Yuri Kochiyama, passed away yesterday at the age of 93. Rest in power, and thank you both for your legacy and inspiration.

Yuri Kochiyama

From the Reappropriate blog:

Yuri Kochiyama was a radical activist who believed, first and foremost, in energizing others towards action and activism. She was deeply troubled by social iniquity wherever she saw it, and she believed in finding common cause across any sociopolitical divide. She believed that all of us — including and particularly Asian Americans — had both the power and the duty to uplift ourselves and our fellow men and women towards the goal of racial and gender equality.

Read More

Lunch Links

The quick and dirty lunch links for the day.

LGBTQ issues — The shifting tide:

Entertainment — On diversity… and lack thereof:

Going to space:

Days of future past?

“As all Americans, we need to be vigilant for whatever liberties and rights we have. If you take those away from someone else, you’re taking it away from yourself too.”

— Jim Matsuoka, former internee at the Manzanar detention/prison camp during the 1940s.

“You are kidding yourself if you think the same thing will not happen again.”

— U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia.