Governor Kasich and Secretary Clinton Offer Best Records on Home Care
January 27, 2016 03:30 PM
Which U.S. presidential candidates have the best records relative to home care and hospice? The answer: Governor John Kasich of Ohio, a Republican, and Democrat, former Secretary of State and U.S. Senator, Hillary Clinton.
Six months ago some 20 candidates from both parties were approached by the National Association for Home Care and Hospice (NAHC) to share their views and their records on matters related to long-term care. One week before the voting begins in Iowa two frontrunners in home care have appeared.
Governor Kasich’s Move to Expand Access to Home Care
Governor Kasich in his closing remarks in the most recent presidential debate listed as one of his most important achievements reversing the longstanding institutional bias which channeled aged, infirm and disabled Ohioans into nursing homes and other institutions instead of providing care which allowed them to remain independent in their own homes.
The Governor summarized this in his remarks saying: “You know, in our country, there are a lot of people who feel as though they just don’t have the power. You know, they feel like if they don’t have a lobbyist, if they’re not wealthy, that somehow they don’t get to play,” Kasich said.
“You see, all of my career, I’ve fought about giving voice to the people that I grew up with and voice to the people that elected me… [For example] taking on the special interests in the nursing home industry in Ohio, so that mom and dad can have the ability to stay in their own home, rather than being forced into a nursing home.”
A literature search validated the Governor’s actions which were an extension of his record as a member of the U.S. Congress and Chairman of the House Budget Committee. They assert that his leadership and advocacy resulted to moving seniors in greater numbers into a variety of in-home care programs. For example, the Columbus Dispatch on November 19, 2015, wrote as follows:
“Ohio has made rapid progress in shifting its aging population from costly nursing homes to appropriate home-based care. This is a win for seniors and taxpayers: It stretches Medicaid dollars to serve more people in need, and it provides the elderly, along with the disabled and mentally ill, the dignity and comfort of remaining in their homes.”
The Columbus Dispatch further wrote: “Ohio long put too much of its money for long-term care of the elderly into the nursing home-industry, which has a strong Statehouse lobby… In the 1970s, about 90 percent of Medicaid beneficiaries receiving long-term care were institutionalized, said Robert A. Applebaum, director of the Ohio long-term-care research project at Miami University. This percentage has dropped by more than half. This isn’t just compassionate, it’s fiscally vital as more Baby Boomers age and start needing elder care in one form or another.”
Secretary Clinton Advances Home Care
When she was a member of the U.S. Senate, Hillary Clinton was a strong advocate for home care and hospice. She worked to increase access to in-home care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid. She has a record of fighting the imposition of copayments which require seniors to pay a “sick tax” before they could access home care services in 1997 and 2003.
Secretary Clinton has included frequent references to home care during the presidential campaign. For example, on November 22, 2015, she introduced a proposal that would allow families to deduct up to $6,000 per year that they had spent to provide home care to their parents from Federal income taxes (see the November 26, 2015, edition of NAHC Report here). Under present law the care paid for by adult children on behalf of their parents cannot be deducted unless the parents qualify as deductions--meaning that the adult children provide substantially all of their income and support.
“We need to recognize the value of the work that caregivers give to all of us, both those who are paid and the great number who are unpaid,” Clinton said. “The lost wages and the work that is sometimes given up are costing families—especially women—who make up the majority of both paid and unpaid caregivers.”
Supporting Candidates from Both Parties
NAHC has the policy to support candidates from both parties who support home care and hospice. This article is presented with enthusiasm for the benefit of NAHC’s members. The candidates should be applauded for their records but printing this story should not be taken as an endorsement. It may be that other candidates have a positive record they have not shared or that NAHC researchers missed something. Candidates are being asked one more time to share their views and their records. If it makes an endorsement, NAHC typically waits until the two parties made their selection of candidates for the general election.
For more information, please contact Cory L. Turner, editor of NAHC Report (firstname.lastname@example.org).
To access a printable version of this article, please click here.