Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Governor McDonnell accepts funding from the Affordable Healthcare Act

McDonnell gets free flu shot available to state employees.

Governor Bob McDonnell announced Wednesday that more than $2 million in grant funding from the Administration on Aging and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) was awarded to the Virginia Department for the Aging and Department of Medical Assistance Services. The funds will expand and develop new and innovative community-based services for older adults and individuals with disabilities.

What the governor failed to mention was that this funding was made possible with passage of the Affordable Healthcare Act. “The Affordable Care Act seeks to give people more control over their own care, while lowering health care costs and improving quality,” said the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Kathleen Sebelius. These grants, made possible by the Affordable Care Act, are going to states, territories, tribal and community-based organizations.

The grants complement President Obama’s Community Living Initiative, which focuses on better serving those individuals with disabilities who need ongoing services and support programs in the community such as those provided by AoA, CMS and other HHS agencies.

Governor McDonnell noted, “I know how hard it can be to care for a parent with health challenges and the stress that it places on family members and caregivers. This funding will be of enormous aid in helping Virginians keep their loved ones in their home as long as possible and provide greater options for both aging adults and adults with disabilities.”

McDonnell’s statement mirrors that of Secretary Sebelius. However, the governor leaves out any reference to Obamacare. “We know how difficult it can be for individuals and caregivers to deal with a sudden illness or chronic disease … The Affordable Care Act seeks to give people more control over their own care, while lowering health care costs and improving quality,” said Secretary Sebelius.

By the governor’s press release and praise indicates that he thinks that at least some parts of Obamacare have merit.

Sec. 2405. Funding to expand State Aging and Disability Resource Centers. 

The press release continues ….

According to the Virginia Department for the Aging, the number of older adults in Virginia will reach 1.8 million by 2030—more than double the population in 2000. In just two decades, almost one in every five Virginians will be age 65 or older, with people over the age of 85 being the fastest growing segment of the population.

Jim Rothrock, commissioner of the Department of Rehabilitative Services and interim commissioner at the Department for the Aging, adds, “This additional support comes at a perfect time as we continue to develop the No Wrong Door Initiative and prepare to take our Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC) Network statewide. The progress we have seen from our partnering local Area Agencies on Aging and Centers for Independent Living is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of potential collaboration and streamlined access that can be realized with these funds.”

Funds will be targeted to local groups in the following amounts:

  • Enhanced Medicare Outreach; Assistance with Enrollment in Low Income Subsidies and Medicare Savings Plans; and Disease Prevention/Wellness Promotion Services ($1,040,902): to assist Medicare beneficiaries with their prescription drug coverage and activities aimed at promoting wellness.
  • ADRC Options Counseling Grant ($503,213): to help people understand, evaluate, and manage the full range of services and supports available in their community for improved long-term care decision making.
  • ARDC Nursing Home Transition through Money Follows the Person Grant ($439,000): to strengthen the ADRCs role in the Money Follows the Person program and to support Virginians interested in transitioning from nursing homes to community-based services.
  • Alzheimer’s Disease Supportive Services Innovation Program ($276,058): to provide in-home intervention strategies to help individuals maintain cognitive functioning and reduce behavioral symptoms while encouraging families and providing them tools to positively interact with the individual with Alzheimer’s.

“Since coming into office in January, I have been committed to identifying mechanisms to ensure that our agencies better coordinate services,” said Dr. Bill Hazel, Secretary of Health and Human Resources. “With our Area Agencies on Aging and Centers for Independent Living working so well together, we will be able to see, in the not too distant future, a much improved and responsive continuum of care for some of our most important citizens.”


Posted By Valerie Garner

Categories: Education, Politics, State Politics

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