Senator Bill to Tackle Health Care Costs and Access
Us Senator Maria Cantwell says that even if congress does not enact adequate reforms in health care, there is a lot that federal lawmakers can do in an effort to bring down health costs.
She was speaking at a news conference in Vancouver on Wednesday.
Cantwell, who is from D- Washington, is part of the senate finance committee, which has control over Medicaid and Medicare. She provided a number of details about bills she is planning to introduce. These are aimed at improving the accessibility of health care measures and also making them more affordable. The rising costs of healthcare in the country have been an issue of concern in recent times.
Cantwell felt that the ultimate target of the plans and policies should be on bringing the costs of healthcare down and focusing on prevention. She was speaking together with a number of health care providers at the Marshall centre.
The state of Washington is a leader in the provision of community based services and in home care to the elderly. These services are designed to make it easier for residents to stay at home. Elderly residents are often forced to secure the services of nursing homes and hospitals in the absence of adequate at home care. This is not only a costly alternative; it also results in an inadequate utilization of resources. Cantwell said that the approach should be adopted on a national basis, so that the elderly can get the care they need at home.
She plans to introduce the bill she calls project 2020, which would focus on providing more information to people about options in long term care. This is designed to prevent a condition where the people become financially unstable due to the costs they have to bear for long term care. In fact, measures should be designed to prevent a condition where the people become so financially wrecked that they would need Medicaid for survival.
She felt that once a person reaches this level, it often becomes too late to provide them with adequate home care that is cost effective. This results in the people often ending up in nursing homes. They are often forced to remain there for the rest of their lives, simply because they cannot afford in home care at that point.
Cantwell says that her bill would result in the reduction of costs in Medicare and Medicaid to an approximate value of $2.8 million. This would be undertaken over a period of five years. It would also serve an additional 280000 people residing in the state of Washington over the same period. She also said that it would benefit a number of people who were forced to go for Medicare or Medicaid because they could not afford in home care.
Long term care is especially needed by people who are suffering from a chronic illness like Alzheimer's or an accident that has forced them to secure long term care at home for a period of 6 months or more.
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