December 3, 2021

My Life Is in Joe Manchin’s Fingers—Does He Care?

4 min read

Senator Joe Manchin has all the time mentioned he listens to, and wishes to listen to from, these whose lives in West Virginia will probably be immediately impacted by his selections on laws. Manchin has repeatedly mentioned he would have in mind how President Biden’s Build Back Better Act would have an effect on the Mountaineer State inhabitants. This consists of whether or not he would help absolutely funding house and community-based companies (HCBS), which the framework President Biden laid out on Tuesday offers $150 billion for.

Passing the Construct Again Higher Act and its historic funding in HCBS is our nation’s finest likelihood to enhance the lives of disabled individuals, seniors, care employees, and their households. Congress should not miss this once-in-a-generation likelihood to make wanted investments in house care and the caregivers who present it.

For households like mine, doing so is actually a alternative between life and loss of life. However don’t simply take my phrase for it. Between all the extraordinary negotiations, advertisements on the airwaves, and congressional reporters shouting questions at him, it’s protected to say the very last item Manchin needs to listen to from is one other “out-of-stater telling West Virginians what’s finest for them.”

It’s past shameful that within the richest nation on earth, numerous Individuals are pressured to dwell in worry of being ripped away from their households and compelled to dwell in establishments the place through the pandemic over 138,000 disabled kids and adults have died of COVID-19.

Senator Manchin, Scott Lancianese lives together with his spouse Vickie and canine Winnie in Mount Hope, West Virginia. Scott was a coal miner for 38 years. Throughout that point, he had one critical accident adopted by a extreme stroke seven years in the past. After three comparatively quick stints at an area rehab middle, Scott was in a position to come house, due to house and community-based companies. Scott had a voice caregiver, a PT caregiver, an occupational remedy caregiver, and a nurse that got here to his home as soon as per week, all of which allowed him to progress steadily. The choice would have been to ship him to a nursing house.

Vickie credit caregivers home-and community-based companies with serving to Scott get again to the place he’s at present. It additionally permits the couple to spend the vacations in their very own house alongside their visiting youngsters, grandkids, and their canine, which they like to spoil. In the neighborhood, Scott is affectionately known as the “Mayor of Maple Fork” as a result of he is aware of everyone’s enterprise and likes getting out and visiting with everybody. If he have been institutionalized none of this might have been doable. His message to Manchin is that Congress should spend money on house and community-based companies as a result of “care is important.”

Let’s speak about Tracy Wooden, who lives in Wheeling, West Virginia, together with her six organic, adopted, and foster youngsters, together with her son Gavin, who has a traumatic mind harm. Tracy has two nurses, which she makes clear is the most important wrestle for her: discovering individuals who may help.

To maintain a great nurse, they want to have the ability to be paid a 40-hour per week wage. They want paid advantages. They should have paid break day. They should have well being care. Each single nurse Tracy’s ever had has a second job. There isn’t any cause they must spend 40 hours per week together with her baby serving to her after which have a second job on prime of that, which takes away from their households.

With out the community- and family-based companies, Tracy would lose her job. Her different kids would undergo as a result of taking good care of Gavin would eat 100% of her time. The unacceptable different can be to institutionalize him—she says it’s horrible to suppose what that will do to such a valuable soul. Tracy mentioned as she will get older, she’s going to rely upon house and community-based companies for him to be part of her household. Echoing Scott, she implores Manchin to spend money on these companies as a result of “Care is important.”

Each particular person deserves to dwell safely and with dignity, but sadly right here at house, that elementary proper will not be prolonged to all. Nationwide, thousands and thousands of disabled individuals and seniors wouldn’t have entry to house care. Greater than 820,000 adults and children are at the moment on Medicaid ready lists for HCBS.

It’s past shameful that within the richest nation on earth, numerous Individuals are pressured to dwell in worry of being ripped away from their households and compelled to dwell in establishments the place through the pandemic over 138,000 disabled children and adults have died of COVID-19.

With a lot on the road for these of us receiving house and community-based companies, many people would love nothing greater than to offer Manchin an earful. Nonetheless, because of COVID restrictions, making our voices heard in a present of pressure will not be even a distant chance. So I say this to him:

The selection is correct in entrance of you: absolutely fund house care or proceed the lethal establishment. This could’t wait. Lives are on the road.

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