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Consumer Directed Care In Danger of Extinction

By Gema G. Hernandez

(Page 2 of 2)

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.


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