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Public nursing homes are wise use of funding

Regarding recent articles in The News about Medicare cuts, it is possible to spend less tax money on Medicare by maintaining public nursing homes. They have historically been a valuable part of most communities. The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General released a scathing indictment in February of for-profit nursing homes titled, “Medicare paid $5.1 billion for poor skilled nursing care.” I called HHS and asked which nursing homes? The answer was for-profit homes, not public nursing homes. When the motive is profit, the care of the most vulnerable and defenseless people of society is compromised, and so is the cost to society at large. For details, visit oig.hhs.gov/newsroom/spotlight/2013/snf.asp

New York still has 33 public nursing homes, down 20 percent in recent years as counties sell their public nursing homes. For-profits “waste taxpayers’ money” and “give poor care,” according to HHS. Public nursing homes are the best option for safe, economical care.

Karen Harvey

Mayville