Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Newt Gingrich's Saving Lives & Saving Money 9

In my latest reading of Saving Lives & Saving Money: Transforming Health and Healthcare, Newt Gingrich talks about the living arrangements of people with disabilities.  On page 198, he states:

"...most families want to do as much as humanly and financially possible to enable their family members with a disability to live in their own home and participate in the community.  And, from the perspective of public policy, it will be extremely difficult, if not impossible, for our country to continue providing costly institutional care for people with disabilities as the number of people needing these services grows."

On pages 198-199, Newt quotes Carol Hughes-Novak, who was the chairperson of the Disabilities Task Force in Newt's district and whose son has cerebral palsy.  Carol believes in promoting "implementation of President Bush's Olmstead Executive Order that requires state Medicaid programs to provide long-term-care services in the community whenever appropriate for the individual."  (See here for information about the Olmstead Executive Order.)  Carol supports reversing the bias in Medicaid towards institutional care, as disabled people under Medicaid are entitled to placement in an institution, while those who prefer "Medicaid Home and Community based long-term care services that are more humane and almost always less costly" must wait for years.

This discussion stood out to me because of posts that I read on the blog, Whose Planet Is It Anyway, during the 2008 Presidential election.  According to those posts, John McCain supported institutional care for the disabled rather than integrating the disabled into their communities because he thought that the latter was too expensive, when (as the blog, Newt, and Carol point out) it is actually institutional care that is more expensive.  Those posts made me question that Republicans were truly on the side of fiscal responsibility.  It turns out, though, that people in both parties think that we should move away from institutional care and towards helping the disabled to integrate into their communities.  See here and here.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Search This Blog