Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Buckeye Institute Porker of the Week: The Ohio Senate


Eye on the Statehouse has named the Ohio Senate its Porker of the Week for unanimously approving an additional $40 million handout to Ohio’s powerful nursing home industry. Prodded by well-heeled nursing home lobbyists, lawmakers at the committee level inserted funding for these costly institutional care providers into the $52.3 billion state budget. The item was accepted by the full Senate without question or discussion. The Ohio House already inserted $50 million into the budget for the homes last month.

There are better and more cost effective options. Governors Ted Strickland and Bob Taft have both sought to expand cheaper in-home and community-based care options in lieu of the more expensive institutionalized care provided in nursing homes.

Both governors have emphasized the state’s PASSPORT Program, which covers home and community-based care. Most individuals in the program have similar levels of disability to nursing home residents. However, taxpayers spend about $164 per day for nursing home care compared to PASSPORT’s $48 a day.

Senators, like their colleagues in the Ohio House, knew these facts and yet still opted to increase nursing home funding at the expense of other suitable health care options. As a result, the Ohio Senate is the Porker of the Week...


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