As discussed in the previous post, the Senate Health & Long Term Care committee, last week, amended the RHC closure bill (SSB-6780) and passed it. Next stop: Senate Ways & Means Committee.
ActionDD ( advocates for a full continuum of care and services for people with developmental disabilities : residential habilitation center or one of the many "community" residential options supported by DSHS.) responded as follows:
Action DD response to SSB 6780 ActionDD asks that you do not support SSB 6780. Our concerns, voiced in the hearing in the Senate Health and Long Term Care committee, were not addressed. The bill still calls for RHC closures, not expanding the regionally located RHCs that we discussed in the hearing, which would be a much more cost effective solution to closure. Closing RHCs does not save money. Past experience with RHC downsizing has cost much more than anyone estimated and didn’t relieve the need for RHC care. Remember: RHCs care for the most afflicted of the DD community. We don’t think taxpayers would like to pay more for a system that is already working and that could be better utilized to provide more services and save the state even more money, plus bring in revenue. Building SOLA’s will not be a cost savings. You will still need to add in the cost of sheltered work shops, day programs, etc. There will be costs shifted to local community budgets, such as increased cost to local fire departments, police, Emergency rooms and hospitals. We need a guarantee of the same or better level of care. With the regionally located RHC network, we already have a guarantee of safe, comprehensive cost efficient care. Why replicate it? The people living in RHCs and their families/guardians are pleased with the services. There is an assumption that living in the “community” is a better way to live. Not everyone agrees with that assumption. There is warehousing in the community homes (this was mentioned in the recent articles on Adult Family Homes in the Seattle Times) many of these folks are isolated at home and are not a part of the community at all. The RHC clients are integrated into their local communities, have day and sheltered work programs and are treated with dignity and respect. State and Federal audits uphold a very high quality of care and over site. Citizens with developmental disabilities and their guardians have a right to choose to live in an RHC and this is protected by Federal law.
Maureen Durkan, President
Excellent points, simply stated. Recommendation: use them in making calls and sending emails to Senate Ways & Means Committee members! See blog, below, for committee members" phone numbers. Find phone #s & email addresses at link list on left. Keep the calls and emails flowing! It's important!