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Nursing homes say NO to proposed cuts to Medicaid

Published: Friday, May 18, 2012 5:18 p.m. CDT

Dear Editor,

Pinecrest Community joins with other nursing homes and hospitals in saying NO to Governor Quinn’s proposed cuts to Medicaid reimbursement for nursing homes.

With Illinois Medicaid reimbursement already among the worst in the nation, plans under consideration would further damage the ability of nursing homes to care for society’s most frail and vulnerable citizens, and hinder an already severely underfunded program.

Clearly, there is a better solution and we urge our state representatives and senators to take a stand against this destructive plan and fine a way to ease the state’s budget crisis without harming those who need help the most.

As an alternative, urge your legislators to look at the very generous Medicaid eligibility rules, fraud, waste, abuse and the very expanding enrollments over the last decade in the Medicaid program that the program simply can’t afford.

Many people seeking long term care today consult with Medicaid estate planners and use special legal techniques such as trusts, transfers and annuities to qualify for Medicaid.

The proposed eight percent cut in Medicaid reimbursements would equal approximately $166,000 each year for Pinecrest, impacting 50 percent of our residents, and would mean about a $237 million reduction out of the long term care line item statewide.

Not only nursing homes but others dependent on Medicaid would suffer.

In Pinecrest’s situation, the state is already seven months behind in its reimbursements, placing a massive strain on our budget.

Older adults residing in your communities deserve nothing but your best as well as strong support from their legislative representatives.

Sincerely,

Ferol J.Labash

Chief Executive Officer

Pinecrest Community

Do residents realize negative impact of jobs outsourcing?

Dear Editor,

I doubt whether most Americans realize the full negative impact on our country that outsourcing jobs has had.

The April 2, 2012 issue of Time Magazine quotes the McKinsey Global Institute in saying that since 1990, each American recovery from recessions has been weaker and taken longer than the one before it.

This is credited to outsourcing jobs.

The article also says that it will take 33 months to restore the jobs lost in 2008 and 2009.

Because of both high taxation and business regulations, America has been outsourcing jobs for decades.

My brother, who was a vice president of a major electronics company, was ordered by his management to outsource about 2,500 jobs from Illinois.

These jobs went to Mexico and Asia but most eventually ended up in Asia.

Another brother works for a electronics company in Silicon Valley in California and his company outsources jobs to two foreign countries.

I am probably fairly typical as a small businessman.

I actually got started in business on a dare while still in high school.

I worked my way through college with my first company.

Over the years I have owned as many as three corporations at the same time, although one never did have paid employees.

I have staff who have had larger paychecks than my own because they are good at what they do and work hard.

I cannot afford to buy expensive clothes, I drive a 15-year old van, I served in the U.S. Army, and I am active in my church.

I am not rich but I know what it takes to create jobs and run a business.

The company that I own in Ogle County, I originally founded in 1977.

We are fairly international since several of our customers are multi-national and we have customers headquartered in Mexico, Canada, Belgium, Germany, Italy and Turkey.

Recently my staff and I have been talking about outsourcing for two reasons.

One is the increasing cost of doing business in Illinois.

The second is the lack of qualified job applicants in Illinois.

While most businessmen have substantial local loyalty, and I highly prize the loyalty of my long-standing staff, loyalty may not pay the bills.

Illinois raised taxes 60 percent last year and our first quarter unemployment tax went up more than 10 times, as it did for many other Illinois employers.

It is increasingly difficult to make ends meet while running a business in Illinois.

Regardless of what the politicians say, there is always the pressure for jobs to go where they are wanted.

If one grocery store sells a loaf of bread for $5 and another store sells a loaf of bread for $1, where will you get your bread?

Trust me from decades of experience, lower taxes and fewer regulations help create and retain jobs.

Our second problem is that we recently tried to hire locally for three jobs.

We never did find qualified applicants for the first two jobs and one position remains open. For that third job we had more than 100 applicants.

About six or seven applicants were worth bringing in for an interview but only two were found to be qualified.

Why so many applicants but so few qualified?

The answer again is outsourcing.

You can still find bottom or “starter” jobs at McDonalds or elsewhere because these jobs are difficult to outsource.

Likewise, you will still find positions requiring special education, technical expertise and management experience because those are also difficult to outsource.

However, an awful lot of those jobs in the middle have been outsourced to different states and other countries.

Unfortunately, too many of these middle people are now unemployed and do not have the education, skills or experience to move up to the higher jobs.

If you did not know it, our own Illinois has been losing population as people leave to find jobs elsewhere.

Our congressional districts were recently redistricted to compensate for reduced population.

One source estimates that Illinois loses a resident every two seconds.

Let me suggest to you that in spite of the fact that I have a great deal of respect for my own plumber, I would not suggest that you send a plumber to do brain surgery.

If our problem is the economy and unemployment, we need to stop electing politicians who chase jobs away and instead elect business people or at least individuals who understand business because they know how to create and hold on to jobs.

Larry Plachno

Polo

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