Bush plan to fund assisted living could hurt LTC residents

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The government's proposal to provide more money to home and community-based services could negatively affect those who need nursing home care. That's according to testimony from Hal Daub, president and CEO of the American Health Care Association and the National Center for Assisted Living, before the Senate Finance and House Energy and Commerce committees this week.

President Bush has proposed decreasing or eliminating hurdles states face in obtaining approval for HCBS waivers. The purpose of the waiver is to help curb state spending, while providing more choices to seniors and people with disabilities.

While a program that would cut costs and expand choice is appealing, AHCA/NCAL "is troubled by the development of a well meaning, yet factually unfounded viewpoint that the simple answer to achieving lower Medicaid costs and higher care quality is through rapidly shifting a significant population of seniors and persons with disabilities out of facilities like nursing homes and intermediate care facilities to home and community care settings," Daub said.