ARTICLES / General / Consumer
Directed Care In Danger of Extinction /
Consider the following: some families are not earning
enough money to survive, some families cannot afford
health care, some families have given up their jobs to
take care of their loved ones at home and some families
are not paying into Social Security. Under the present
system, these families are in danger. Consumer Directed
Care offers the option to pay family members a salary
similar to the salary they pay now to private agencies
for the work they do. If family members are able and
willing to perform certain services, they receive
payment and a contribution to their Social Security.
Paying family members at the lowest range of the payment
scale saves money because family members provide more
hours of services than an agency does for the same
amount of money.
Some families are not able or willing to provide
services themselves, but they would like to choose the
agency or individual worker who will provide services to
their loved ones. If an agency is not providing the
services the way a frail person desires, caregivers
should have the right to change providers, no questions
asked. Having the power to change agencies should be the
right of the consumer in any government funded program.
In a time when the federal government is considering
eliminating the Medicaid program as it exists today, and
making Medicaid a Block grant to the states, the warning
has been given. It is up to us to fight for the
preservation of those programs and services that make a
real difference in people’s lives.