Some governors might forgo stimulus funding handouts

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There has been much exuberance surrounding the stimulus package and its benefit for nursing homes. A whopping $87 billion for state Medicaid programs has all but caused advocates to shout, Yippee!

But many in the nursing home field must have been shaking their heads this week when they read that some governors may choose to reject the money. Republican governors from Texas, Mississippi, Louisiana, Alaska, South Carolina and Idaho reportedly said they wonder if the money may actually lead to increased costs down the road or have “strings attached.”

That reaction to the handout has bothered their Democratic counterparts, saying that the governors are putting ideology over states’ interests.

Nursing home providers, in those states, who have been banking on some of that funding to help nursing homes stay afloat and deliver better care, certainly couldn’t have been pleased either.

Mayors put on notice

Meanwhile, President Obama warned the nation’s mayors today that they better spend the stimulus money wisely and not waste it.

Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, who leads the U.S. Conference of Mayors, appreciated the president’s tough stance and quipped that constituents are likely to report fraud even faster than the government.
Obama has talked a lot about transparency and this week his budget chief released a document indicating how governments must report spending. Reports will be displayed on the Web site,

Accountability is good. But to go back to the first point, it only works if you accept the funding in the first place. Governors should take the money that has been allotted to them and use it in the proper fashion.

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Daily Editors' Notes

McKnight's Daily Editors' Notes features commentary on the latest in long-term care news and issues. Entries are written by Editorial Director John O'Connor, Editor James M. Berklan, Senior Editor Elizabeth Newman and Staff Writer Marty Stempniak.