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Joe Stango from Dora's Hope talks about Unemployment and Medicaid

 

The U.S. Labor Department reported on Friday that U.S. employers added 227,000 jobs in February allowing unemployment to be steady at 8.3%. Depending on your political ideology this is either a good number meaning the economy continues to show signs of strength or a not so good number interpreting the information as an economy growing, albeit slowly, with a great deal of weakness.

Regardless of your politics I believe we can provide a big boost to the economy through “Choice Centered Medicaid.” That is a Medicaid system that allows all patients and their families, despite the levels of care needed by the patient, to determine where they will receive their care in an institution, at home or some other community based location.

You see CCM works on the premise that if you open up the system it will create demand and that demand will create opportunity, or supply if you will, for employment. Supply and Demand; it’s so simple even a, home care cutting budget to balance the books, governor can understand it.

Take for example my home state of Connecticut. Under Money Follows the Person (MFP), the program created because of my mom, the state is now bringing home 5000 people from institutional care facilities creating a savings to the state of $55M.
The state also announced that allowing 5000 people to come home is creating 6000 new private sector jobs. If we take those numbers and transpose them onto the national economy that means we could create, conservatively, 1.2 million new jobs assuming we allow 1 million patients to go home to their families. This number does not include the demand on the system by thousands of consumers who would have entered an institution but are now diverted to the community.

Most people in this country have been hoping that both parties could work together to solve many of today’s problems including the strenghtening of the jobs numbers. This is an opportunity for a melding of the two ideologies. This is an opportunity for Government to partner with businesses and families to provide services where people want them most…..in their own homes.

It empowers patients and families and it allows new opportunities in the job market. Case in point: Maria in New Haven Connecticut. Maria was working 3 jobs to make ends meet and then one faithful day her brother Hector, 19 years old, was in an auto accident. The accident left him unable to walk, talk and with limited movement in his arms.

Because of the inspiration he provided in showing his wanting to live not just exist and the love she had for him she went back to school to be a Certified Nurse’s Assistant (CNA) and today she works for the company, hired by the state, to provide Hector with care. Oh, and by the way, Hector is one of her patients. All this because of Choice under Money Follows the Person.

As they used to say in my father’s old Italian neighborhood, “it’s a beautyful ting”

May the good Lord continue to bless and keep us and may He always allow us to be surrounded by the ones we love.

Joe Stango

Original Blog Post from Dora's Hope

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