ShareThis Page
Letters to the Editor

Increase working disabled funds

| Friday, June 28, 2013, 8:57 p.m.

Pennsylvania's annual budget decision-making for 2013-14 is upon us. Unfortunately, the disability community continues to be disappointed.

Home- and community-based services have not been increased. In fact, millions of dollars have been cut from state Attendant Care Services, those that help people with disabilities remain independent.

But nursing homes received a 2 percent cost-of-living adjustment from the governor's budget and another $7.8 million increase from the state House's budget bill.

Most public opinion polls on long-term care show that over 80 percent of individuals want to live in a community setting, not a nursing home or other institution. The average monthly cost of living in a nursing home is $5,040, while the cost for people over age 60 living in the community is $1,910, according to the state.

The budget seems to be “robbing Peter to pay Paul” — decreasing home services and increasing nursing-home care.

Pennsylvania offers a program to persons with disabilities who are able to work, but require attendant care — Act 150. This program allows people to work and pay taxes. Funding for Act 150 has been stagnant in recent years due to budget constraints and ongoing threats to discontinue it. Because of that, the program's waiting list is now 316 people. So if someone has a potential job, he/she cannot accept it because attendant care services are not available to assist with bathing, dressing, etc., to prepare to go to work.

To deny employment and services is unacceptable. Act 150 needs to be expanded.

Robert P. Romero

Washington, Pa.

The writer is the facilitator for Southwestern Pennsylvania ADAPT, an organization of disability rights activists.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.

click me