Lou Wilson: Stem the panic

November 26, 2012 

Stem the panic

Regarding the Nov. 25 Associated Press article “Budget tweak could put mentally ill on the street”: Please let me clear up a question regarding group homes and the budget process. It is whether the adult care home lobby asked the General Assembly not to include group homes in the funding set aside because of new Medicaid changes.

I am the one who does most of the lobbying for the adult care homes, and I talked with the group-home lobbyist during the session. No one, including me, asked the General Assembly to leave out group homes.

During the budget process, there was confusion and uncertainty. The Department of Human Resources was lobbying for some of the money to go to pay administrative costs around appeals, and at one time even the group homes believed that all their residents would qualify for the new services.

Adult care homes also have a problem with funding for about 3,500 people who have Alzheimer’s.

Leaders in North Carolina are never going to allow group-home residents to live on the streets nor do I believe they will tell the families and residents with Alzheimer’s that they will turn their backs on them. That is not the way North Carolina treats its elderly and disabled! So don't panic yet.

Lou Wilson

Government relations director

N.C. Association, Long-Term Care Facilities

Randleman

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