Wednesday, February 17, 2010

"Sure you're disabled, just not disabled enough!"

Below is the first article I've read this budget season that describes the way in which the Governator wants to destroy homecare and the affect it would have on the lives of consumers (clients). With all the negative press that focuses on just the costs and the race occurrence of fraud it's refreshing to see someone other than me touting the economic and social benefits of homecare. It's not just a grueling job, it's a job that saves money and saves live: consumers, providers (worker) and both their families all benefit from non-institutionalized care of our disabled poor. Can't the Governator see that cutting care would make the disabled suffer, the workers jobless and the families overburdened with care often to their own financial detriment?

The Functional Index (FI) score was designed to quantify individual disability, not determine categorical eligibility. To use it as such is, at best, reprehensible. One would not have to look far to find obvious exceptions and contradictions to this line of reasoning. For example my wife has never and will never walk but her FI score is above a friend of ours who can walk with a walker but is much more dependent upon her caregiver. Should our friend become ineligible just because her FI score is lower? Is rating and then discriminating against the disabled the best solution the State can come up with to balance the budget? We need to ask our Legislature and Governator to do better than to pick on the poor and defenseless.

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