Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Looking Down Ballot - Proposition B - Better Home Health Care For Missourians

Proposition B, on first glance, looks like a good idea. But when you take a more careful, analytical look at it, you realize that it's a great idea.

Here is the language that will appear on your ballot in less than two weeks:
Shall Missouri law be amended to enable the elderly and Missourians with disabilities to continue living independently in their homes by creating the Missouri Quality Homecare Council to ensure the availability of quality home care services under the Medicaid program by recruiting, training, and stabilizing the home care workforce?

The exact cost of the proposal to state governmental entities is unknown, but is estimated to exceed $510,560 annually. Additional costs for training are possible. Matching federal funds, if available, could reduce state costs. It is estimated there would be no costs or savings to local governmental entities.
While I often get accused of being verbose, even I see no need to expound on the merits of helping people live independently in their homes.

When I see a measure so obviously correct, I can't help but wonder if anybody is opposing it, and, if so, why? Thank Goodness I read Big Muddy Politics regularly, because that blog managed to find and destroy the anti-Proposition B argument. In a nutshell, the best that the Missouri Chamber of Commerce can come up with is the fear that the home health care workers might - gasp! - unionize, and that better home health care for Missourians could, possibly, cost a little more than bad home health care.

Believe me, I understand the differences of opinion concerning some unions, and a good-faith (but deeply flawed) argument could be made that some unions have created conditions that have led to off-shoring of manufacturing jobs, I am at a loss to explain why it would be a horrible thing to have a home health care work force that is well-trained and decently paid. Only a pathologically knee-jerk anti-worker reactionary could oppose increasing the qualifications, training and wages of one of the few groups of Missouri workers whose jobs are immune from being exported! (Though, to be fair, the Missouri Chamber's fantasy world probably would include herding retired blue-collar workers onto cargo ships to be exported to third-world countries if the lowered cost of care would reduce corporate pension obligations.) Incidentally, those same well-qualified, well-trained and decently paid home health care workers are the very same people who will be taking care of our grandparents, parents and even ourselves when we want to stay in our homes.

Vote "Yes" on Proposition B. It sounds like a good idea because it is a good idea.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

You must also remember that the nursing home lobby is one of the strongest in the country. They are huge supporters of the Chamber of Commerce (which voted against the Americans with Disabilities Act, by the way). There is big money in nursing homes. If good home healthcare is not available, where do people go? Nursing homes.

10/22/2008 9:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

We all knew that Dan would be in favor of this pro-union proposition, so his endorsement comes as no big surprise.

What Dan so eloquently avoids is the question of where the money comes from. We didn't have the funds to provide health care for children, so let's give more funds that we don't have to “potential” new union workers.

In a troubled economy the answer is to control spending, not redirect and spend more.

Tax and spend -tax and spend. Stop the madness!!

If you want to stay in your home when you get old, let family help out. Sorry –that’s not the government’s responsibility.

NO to Proposition A

10/22/2008 10:05 AM  
Blogger ctorre said...

Thanks for the posts on these initiatives, gonemild; it's a welcome service.

10/22/2008 2:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Did anyone else notice that crazy anti-union anonymous got the Prop wrong?

That's Proposition B, not A.

10/27/2008 2:01 PM  

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