2.11.08

Evaluation of Missouri Propositions: Proposition B

Language - 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 this 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.

Background – This all sounds good. We all want people to live in their homes longer. That isn’t the issue here. The issue is the creation of the Council which to oversee, employ, assign, and manage a home care workforce. Currently, there are dozens of private-sector (non-government) home, healthcare providers. Deacon Barth Holohan (Covenant Pres) runs a company called Continuum. STL Business Journal reported, “As founder and CEO of Continuum in St. Louis, Holohan’s No. 1 mission has remained helping those who have difficulty caring for themselves” (read the full report here) Continuum provides services at fraction the cost of government provision. But the Medicaid program isn’t happy about that—and so they hope by passing this bill to create such a barrier for companies like Barth’s, that they have to shut down. Then the government run health segments can control more of the money and all of the providers.

Issues / Implications – This is a horrible solution for elderly people. Some of them don’t need much—and the rest have numerous private-sector options. Notice this Proposition doesn’t say how much this will cost, only that it will cost more than half a Million Dollars. The reality is that these costs could exceed multi-millions within 2-5 years. Once the private companies have been put out of business, the cost to taxpayers and the elderly is likely to skyrocket.

CONCLUSION: I plan to vote NO for this bill.

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