Nancy Milio: Health care hits

June 4, 2014 

As a former home-care nurse, professor and health researcher, I have seen how important in-home and community services are for elders and disabled people and their families. I know how cost-effective and health-supportive such services are.

A model of these services is the Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly run by Piedmont Health Services. It provides all types of care: in-home, primary, in-patient, day care; drugs, transportation and more. Much of it is paid for by Medicare and Medicaid, and it saves taxpayers the higher costs of nursing home care and emergency care.

The N.C. Senate’s new budget would cut these programs. It would cut Medicaid, including prescription drugs, and cut thousands of individuals from the program, many too poor to be eligible for the Affordable Care Act.

By cutting cost-saving, family-friendly programs like PACE, it would also threaten providers of health care for all low-income and other working families because community health centers will lose those insurance dollars and do not have other sustainable sources of funds to meet their costs for uninsured families.

I urge the House and Gov. Pat McCrory to rethink the consequences of this shortsighted budget in the people’s interest.

Nancy Milio, Chapel Hill

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