Under the Dome

No Perdue solution to group homes Medicaid dilemma

Gov. Bev Perdue will not present a solution to the problem with funding for group homes for people with mental disabilities today, as she said she would on Monday.

Group home providers, residents, and their families are waiting anxiously for Perdue's announcement because thousands are in jeopardy of losing Medicaid money that helps pay for their lodging. The change comes Jan. 1.

"I think we are still examining all of our options," said Perdue spokeswoman Christine Mackey. The office will announce its move next week, she said.

The legislature set up a nearly $40 million financial rescue fund for adult care homes whose residents are facing the same Medicaid cut, but group homes are not allowed to tap into it.

Robert Bullock, a group home resident from Cary, received an email from Perdue's office Wednesday and was disappointed to see it was a Christmas card rather than news about a funding fix.

He wants Perdue to call a special session, hoping the legislature will change the law to make group homes eligible for its adult care homes fund.

"I'm starting to get a little antsy," Bullock said. "When it gets to a place when you lay awake at night wondering whether you're going to have a roof over your head come Jan. 1, it's getting to be a little problem."

Changes to Medicaid rules make it harder for people with mental disabilities living in group homes to qualify for Medicaid reimbursements for personal care services - help bathing, eating, dressing and moving.  Group homes use the Medicaid money to help cover residents' expenses.


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How Disappointing

Four years ago, every other sentence uttered was, "for our low wage families". It appears that calling a special session is hijacked out of fear of other business being conducted by the NC General Assembly. Regardless of party affiliation, each legislator has a family and needs time to make preparations on how to spend the two remaining weeks of the year.

This constant flipping further erodes respect for women in leadership and the Democratic Party.

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