Federal aid might be on the way to help Oklahoma adult day care services.
U.S. Rep. Linda Sanchez, D-Calif., introduced the Medicare Adult Day Services Act of 2009, HR3043, in June. The legislation allows Medicare beneficiaries to use licensed and certified adult day service centers to provide post-acute services. Seniors and people with disabilities now have only two choices for receiving post-acute care through Medicare-certified nursing homes and home health agencies.
The bill has been referred to the House Ways and Means and House Energy and Commerce committees.
The proposed legislation has 37 co-sponsors. If the bill is to survive, it will likely do so without Republican support. U.S. Rep. Ronald Paul, R-Texas, has been the only Republican to sign on as a sponsor.
“Is adult day service care a federal responsibility?” asked U.S. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Oklahoma, prior to a recent town hall meeting in Altus. “Absolutely not. How are we going to pay for it? The federal government has zero money.”
Mary Brinkley, executive director of the Oklahoma Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, vehemently disagrees with Coburn.
“Is it a state or federal responsibility? Maybe not,” Brinkley said. “Is it a moral responsibility? Absolutely. As a society, we will be judged by how we take care of the frailest and weakest among us.”