Residence well being care urges dedication in finances reconciliation bundle | Information, sports activities, jobs
CHARLESTON – Access to home health care saved his life for Ady Barkan. Barkan is now bringing his embassy to West Virginia to encourage Senators Joe Manchin and Shelley Moore Capito to maintain the proposed $ 3.5 trillion funding for home health care in the budget reconciliation package.
Barkan was diagnosed with ALS in 2016 after a successful career as a lawyer and progressive political activist.
According to the Mayo Clinic, ALS – amyotrophic lateral sclerosis – is a disease that attacks the nervous system and causes the muscles in the body to shut down and even paralyze the muscles used to breathe. It was once known as Lou Gehrig’s disease.
As his ALS symptoms worsened, Barkan had to struggle with his insurance companies to cover home health care. It’s a story he tells in “Don’t go quietly” a documentary that was released in several US theaters on August 13th and will be available on streaming services on October 13th.
In an exclusive live video chat interview from his home in California on Tuesday, Barkan used an optical sensor system that allows him to select characters to input answers to questions which are then read by the computer since Barkan is no longer speaking can.
“When I was 32 years old, I was diagnosed with ALS – a mysterious neurological disorder – that almost completely paralyzed me in just a few years.” said Barkan. “As a result, I needed 24 hour housekeeping to stay alive.
“I am particularly lucky that I was able to successfully force my health insurance company to take over most of the care”, Barkan continued. “I would probably have to be in a nursing home away from my wife and two young children to stay alive. And to be honest, I don’t know whether that would be a quality of life that I would accept. “
37-year-old Barkan continues to advocate root causes, including the need for expanded health care, particularly home health care. Barkan has testified in Congress, met with presidential candidates and even confronted former Republican Senator Jeff Flake on a plane for helping determine the tax cut plan called for by former President Donald Trump that has increased insurance premiums.
Barkan supports the $ 3.5 trillion arbitration package written by the Senate Democrats. The budget equalization package is based on President Joe Biden’s American Families Plan, which includes $ 400 billion over eight years to fund home and community-based health care and incentives to promote employment in home health care.
Congressional proposals for this $ 400 billion include an increase in federal Medicaid fees for home health care and financial incentives for states to pass programs that help meet administrative costs and pool grants. The legislature wants to make the Money Follows the Person program permanent with annual funding.
“Across the country, there are still 820,000 seniors and disabled people on the waiting list for the Medicaid home care program at risk of being ripped out of their homes and forced to live in insecure care facilities.” said Barkan. “During the pandemic alone, 133,000 people with disabilities died in nursing homes in the United States. So this financing is about nothing less than human life. “
It remains to be seen whether Senate Democrats will keep the budget balance at $ 3.5 trillion or cut the final price. The two US Senators Joe Manchin from West Virginia and Kyrsten Sinema from
Arizona voted for the procedural vote to begin work on the budget reconciliation package, but both have had their say on the final price.
“We are the richest nation in the history of the world” said Barkan. “We have money for the Space Force, for tax cuts for billionaires, for a huge military. It is in our power to fully fund home and community care and the entire reconciliation package. It’s just a matter of realigning our priorities to appreciate basic health care and real human life. “
The budget balancing package only needs a simple majority of 51 votes to pass the Senate, not a single Republican vote. Capito was an outspoken opponent of the budget reconciliation plan and called it a “Tax and shopping frenzy.”
Barkan urged Capito to support the 2017 budget reconciliation process to get Trump passed the tax cuts. These tax cuts were paid in part through the elimination of individual mandate penalties under the Affordable Care Act. According to the Congressional Budget Office, abolishing these penalties would reduce the number of people insured by 13 million by 2027 and result in a 10 percent premium increase for most years of the decade.
“I also find it baffling that Senator Capito is now against reconciliation because she was anxious to pass the Trump tax bill in 2017, which threatens the health care that I and millions of others need to survive.” said Barkan. “Now that we have the chance to get major programs through to help the West Virgins, she’s against it. It is clear that the Senator is not on the side of working people and families. “
While Capito doesn’t endorse the budget reconciliation package, she has shown her support for home health care. Both Capito and Manchin announced more than $ 5 million for West Virginia’s Money Follows the Person program on Wednesday.
“Given West Virginia’s aging population, I have always made it a priority to provide the resources that will enable access to quality care and health services that our elderly population depends on.” Capito said in a statement. “Often this is the best way to do this through home and community health services as opposed to institutional care like nursing homes.”
“Ensuring that West Virginia’s elderly and disabled people have access to quality care, whether at home or in community care facilities, has always been a top priority.” said Manchin. “I am pleased that HHS is investing in the Money Follows the Person program, which provides West Virginia with additional funding and flexibility to support West Virginians who depend on Medicaid.”
Be A Hero co-founder Barkan has partnered with West Virginians to tell stories similar to his own. One of those stories is from Scott Lancianese of Mount Hope. Lancianese, a miner with a family history in the mines that goes back three generations, suffered a severe stroke in 2014 that left him unable to speak or walk. He credits access to home health care in order to regain the ability to speak and walk.
“Congress needs to invest in home and community-based services to help everyone in my situation.” Lancianese said in a statement.
“Scott said he probably wouldn’t be alive today without home care.” said Barkan. “There are 66,000 West Virginians like Scott who depend on home and community-based care. And over 15,000 home care workers in the state, many of whom are on the verge of poverty given the low wages of the profession. With the reconciliation package, we’re going to invest in all of these West Virginians and their families. “
(Adams can be contacted at [email protected])
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