I am excited to be testifying before the Massachusetts Legislature's Joint Committee on Elder Affairs this coming Wednesday, May 11, concerning House Bill H01097. This bill, if enacted into law, would codify the rights of elders and persons with disabilities to pay their family members for providing personal care and management. MassHealth has repeatedly opposed this concept as being a “giveaway” which increases taxpayer costs, despite federal law and agency policy mandating that services be provided in the community where possible, rather than in nursing homes. (The current version of the bill can be viewed here.) No one wants to end up in a nursing home. By paying children to provide care, elders can stay home longer, and in the process save the taxpayers money by deferring when the elder will need to apply for MassHealth long-term care coverage. It just takes longer to use up one's assets when you are paying a child $15 an hour plus reasonable room and board than paying a nursing home $350 a day.
Please contact your legislator and the members of the Joint Committee this week and encourage them to support this important legislation.