Out With The Old, In With The New Budget

By: Troy Kinsey Email
By: Troy Kinsey Email

For Diana Mahoney, crossword puzzles are a cinch compared to what she calls our puzzling state government.

She can't get over why Tallahassee's cutting nearly 190-million in medicaid funding for nursing home care.

It's money Diana depends on for the around-the-clock care and therapy her doctors say she has to have.

Mahoney says:

"Florida is a state for seniors, more and more, they move into the state daily to retire, and they need their government's support, they need their government funds."

Rep. Gayle Harrell (R) Port St. Lucie says:

"This is the most significant expenditure the state makes each and every year!"

With medicaid taking up nearly a third of the entire state budget, republican leaders say there was no way around what their critics have called 'draconian' cuts.

With every Florida nursing home in line for an average cut of around a quarter-million dollars, it's caregivers here on the front line who have to do the heavy lifting of making ends meet.

And, the weights could be about to get even heavier.

With Washington now focused on cutting its deficit, nursing home directors like Lisa McGinley are worried about federal medicaid funding being cut, too.

Ultimately, staff may have to be laid off and patients turned away, unless politicians step up.

Yes, the economy is sluggish, and yes, we have to be very financially astute, but let's not keep taxing and axing where care is essential, required and needed, and cannot be offered in any other type setting.

Care that can definitely be expensive, but here in America...

"We depend on our government!"

The question now is if government can continue to afford it.

Nursing home advocates are mounting a statewide petition campaign.

Their plan is to send a strong message to congress that federal medicaid cuts are unacceptable.

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