This is from Divided We Fail

Grandmother raising grandchildren lost insurance after divorce

Despite working two jobs, Jane R. of Kalamazoo, MI, has been unable to afford health care insurance after her divorce.
Jane writes:

I would like to speak about the stress that not having health insurance puts on my life. I was married and had health insurance for many years through my ex’s job. Now after divorcing I have no insurance, I work 2 jobs but I can’t get insurance through them and I can’t afford to buy insurance on my own, so I worry constantly about it.

I am 58 years old and have saved some money for retiring (these days that looks farther and farther off), but I worry that I will need expensive medical care and it will wipe out what money I have managed to save. I am legal guardian to my young grandsons; thank goodness they are eligible for Medicaid. I worry about them if I should need surgery or something.

We live very frugally and are proud of going it on our own, I don’t want to be “bailed out” by the government, I want to buy insurance on my own but until it is affordable there is no way it will fit into the budget.

Remind Congress who this fight is all about or share your own health care story with us.

Green Houses For Elder Care

Loretto to close Oswego, Rosewood Heights nursing homes

Last Update: 3:42 pm
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Oswego (WSYR-TV) – Loretto Health & Rehabilitation Center will be shutting down two of its Central New York nursing homes over the next two years as part of reorganization.

Patients and family members began receiving letters Tuesday, explaining the changes that will be taking place.

The letter says over the next 2 years, the company will close its Loretto Oswego and Rosewood Heights nursing homes in order to reorganize their offerings.

The company says they received a $12 million grant from the state and intends on building smaller facilities that hold a smaller amount of elders.

The company says the plan will downsize regional nursing home capacity, expand accessibility to assisted living programs and create “Green House” residences. The plan calls for the creation of 13 Green Houses, which are small homes that each house 12 elders.

The company says in addition, 100 new assisted living program slots will be created at its current housing sites, providing an alternative to nursing home care.

Loretto says there are three other nursing homes in Oswego with room and the state had identified the area has more beds then it needs. The company says in order to adjust the region’s skilled nursing home capacity to a more appropriate level, Loretto Oswego and Rosewood Heights will be closed toward the end of the two-year long reorganization.

According to Loretto’s website, Loretto Oswego provides quality skilled nursing care and rehabilitation for 120 patients.

If your parent is in one of the facilities, you can choose to find a new nursing home for them, or Loretto will assist you in finding them a new home.

It was not immediately clear what would happen to the approximately 100 employees who work at the two facilities.

Project Components

The project includes the following major components:

1)  Close the 120 bed Loretto Oswego (LO) facility.  The rationale for this action is based on several factors including the age of the current facility, particularly the mechanical infrastructure, and Loretto’s lack of market share/presence in the Oswego community that has three other very qualified providers of nursing home care;

2)  Be a partner in the closure of the 242 bed Rosewood Heights Health Center (RHHC), a 40 year old building long recognized as ill-suited to meet the needs of its special populations (including a high percentage of Difficult to Place discharges from local hospitals) and located in densely developed urban setting without practical opportunity for expansion or cost effective renovation;

3)  Move 30 long term care beds to the main Loretto Health & Rehabilitation Center (LHRC) campus on Brighton Avenue to maximize efficiencies and use existing available space on the 13th floor of  the main building that would be retrofitted to a more homelike “neighborhood” setting designed to serve complex difficult to place discharges from the four (4) major local hospitals;

4)  Construct 13 “Green Houses®” with 12 long term care beds in each house, to be constructed in the northern area of Onondaga County, the center of the emerging market and accessible to major population centers of the CNY Region; and

5)  Create 100 Assisted Living Program slots to replace some of the decommissioned nursing home beds as an appropriate response to changing consumer preferences.

6)  Respond to the needs of the Syracuse hospitals Difficult to Place (DTP) population needing nursing home placements. LHRC will have the capacity to cohort a variety of DTP patients on the 15 floors that will be reconstructed and reconfigured at Cunningham/Fahey to respond in a high quality manner to specialty care, subacute care, and transitional care needs of the combined DTP residents from both RHHC and LHRC. This restructured system of care will assure that at least twenty percent (20%) of all new hospital admissions to the reconfigured Loretto skilled nursing facility beds will be DTP admissions on an annual basis. This will include more than 300 Difficult to Place admissions annually. Although concentrating such a large volume of DTP at LHRC will be challenging fiscally, the location of new community-based skilled nursing home beds (green houses) is anticipated to provide a very competitive and attractive array of services that will allow this initiative to be fiscally viable as a total system of long term care.

Loretto Health and Rehabilitation Center requested and has been awarded $ 12 million from HEAL NY to support this $40 million project.

Time Frame
Funded projects are expected to begin in October of 2009 and be completed within 24 months.

Is the Economy Improving?

So, what do you think? Are the dark skies of the economic downfall behind us? Are things starting to pick up? Are people saving more and spending less?
I happen to think the U.S. is beginning to see a slow up tick in our economy. I’m not saying it’s surging…just that it is creeping in a favorable direction. As a self employed ad salesperson, I have personally seen my sales increase, although the amount I sell ads for are still below the normal price. But, hey, at least businesses are buying advertisements again. If they are advertising, then there must be customers spending.

Censure Joe Wilson

Joe Wilson’s outburst during President Obama’s address on Wednesday was shocking, insulting to the president, members of the House, and the American public. This rude and crude arrogant politician set a precedent that is not acceptable. There was no civility on his part.

What I find even more disturbing is the underlying cause for the behavior we are seeing lately. Mr. Wilson, a white Republican from South Carolina shouts down and calls a liar the first black president of the United States. It seems as though the old south is rearing its ugly head. Notice the skin tone of the Tea Baggers? How many people of color do you see in their ranks? I wonder how much of what is going on is due to latent racial undertones? I am very disturbed by this trend and I had thought we were progressing…not regressing. Alas, I am left to wonder.