I went to two workshops today and learned a lot. The first is that Obama is not as horrible on the community based service front as I had thought. He still refuses to make community services an entitlement as nursing homes are.
But their are some good stop gap measures as we work toward that goal. First states can get a 6% increase in their federal match grant for Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP), if they agree to support Community First Choice (an Obama Initiative, in health care reform, which is focused on getting and keeping people out of nursing homes). Currently, Massachusetts plays 50% of all bills for Medicaid recipients, with the federal government picking up the other half. That would become a 44%/56% split if this program were implemented. The change would be in effect forever as long as Massachusetts kept being a member in good standing of Community First Choice.
Given the fact that people in the community have better, more productive lives if Massachusetts elects not to join, I will have harsh words with my elected officials me tell you. I encourage others to do the same and post a comment with your results.
Secondly, although I'm still unclear on the details, is federal long term care insurance opt in. For approximately, $100 a month people could pay into a program which would allow them to get a check in the mail for $75 a day forever to pay for their longterm care or other independence needs. As long as you work between 8 and 20 quarters and pay the premiums, you're eligible. Better yet, the money will not count against Medicaid means testing. You can even be on a Medicaid waiver and receive it. You can also get it if you're self employed. The program will unveil in October 2011. Where do I go to say, "sign me up, Scotty?"
The second workshop focused on keeping people out of institutions through complaints to the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) Examples of possible complaints included: my home care agency doesn’t send me someone who speaks English fluently and I can’t communicate with them, I can’t set my own hours because my state doesn’t allow me to consumer direct my care anymore, and I’m not allowed to being my attendant to the hospital with me to name a few. I plan to write one about the lack of ability to save hours in my home care services (which is really harmful at times), and hospital access issues, as well as my chair which always breaks. OCR will get sick of hearing from me. I say (grinning evilly) "good, good."
After that, we left for the Fun Run. I did my 20 laps. It was hard at times because I so vividly remembered rolling those streets with Buddy, Karin, and other fallen comrades. I few times tears threatened to roll down but I kept them in check and enjoyed the sun. It threatened to rain, but only a few drops fell. I think said fallen comrades had a word with the Lord on our behalf.
I ate at Quiznos. Perfect, Martina sized portions for $3.07! I came back and sold two books. I won't make a fortune, but it's good to make a sale. I've designated Shaniek to be in charge of selling my stuff should I go to jail tomorrow. I'm not opposed to going to jail, especially after the government has banned 12 of my colleagues from actually entering Capitol grounds because they got arrested by John McCain's office in 2008. They're still here, determined to help out in whatever way they can. I am mad on their behalf. This sounds very Stalinist to me. I thought we didn't do this whole thing in America--banning non-violent protesters from Capitol grounds they're paying for. WTF!?
But of course, if they just give us what we want, we will just go away peacefully. You would think they would have figured this out by now. Aren't they making an average of $80,000. More tomorrow. Now, my tired eyes are going to bed.