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Nov 18, 2010
Ron Angle's Hearing
After first promoting the private detention center for illegal aliens, Ron Angle has done a 180; He now can hear the protesters against that private facility. While I'm glad Ron's hearing has improved, now I wish he could hear the sobs coming from Gracedale. While he has heard the 400 against the detention center, he has yet to hear the 10,000 for keeping Gracedale. There are those of us who believe that county nursing homes are a core mission of that level of government. Nobody is born, works and pays taxes aspiring to end up in the county nursing home. When life has taken that turn, for generations, families have taken consolation that their loved one is in a caring facility, despite any lack of funds. If Gracedale has become upside down financially, it is clearly because of management decisions made by our elected officials. Although I understand that a private operator would not be bound by the union costs and legacies borne by the county, and can charge more to medicare, many questions remain unanswered. How can a private operator buy the nursing home, pay all that debt service, and still make a profit, while the county only sees red ink in the same facility? The County sees and hears what it wants to.
Any sale contracts or deed restrictions to protect the rights of county residents can be broken in the future. The only way for Northampton County to guarantee the affordable, quality care of it's citizens is to operate the nursing home itself. It is a question of priorities.
letter in Morning Call: Northampton County has misplaced priorities