Administration short sighted on co-pay recommendation as a way to deficit reduction
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Barbara D. Woolley
WASHINGTON D.C. (Sept. 21, 2011) The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) has the highest respect for President Obama and appreciates his balanced approached to deficit reduction. However, we strongly oppose the Administrations proposed home health copayment and believe deficit reduction should not come in the form of a sick tax on the nations poorest and sickest Medicare beneficiaries.
The original Medicare home health benefit included co-pays and they were removed because there was no evidence that they saved money. In fact, they cost the government more to collect than their imposition saved the Medicare program.
History has taught us that if co-pays are instituted, the number of chronically ill and disabled persons who will be forced to take the ‘pauper’s oath’ and apply for help from state Medicaid programs will again increase dramatically. The impact of such cost-shifting will precipitate a national crisis as states struggle to carry the weight of caring for the 78 million members of the Baby Boom generation who will require personal care assistance or help with the management of multiple chronic diseases.
Home care is not only the right way to save billions in Medicare expenditures; it is what the nation’s seniors need to meet their increasing and complicated health care requirements. There is no greater value proposition in the health care system than home care, which helps save and extend lives as well as prevent and manage chronic disease while creating jobs and directly contributing to the long-term health of the economy.
The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) is a nonprofit organization that represents the nations 33,000 home care and hospice organizations. NAHC also advocates for the more than two million nurses, therapists, aides and other caregivers employed by such organizations to provide in-home services each year to some 12 million Americans who are infirm, chronically ill, disabled and dying. Along with its advocacy, NAHC is committed to excellence in every respect and provides information to help its members maintain the highest quality of care. To learn more about NAHC, visit www.nahc.org.