Monday, October 27, 2014

Face it: Privatization of the healthcare givers is not working.

Let us face the facts.
The fact is Michigan is dead broke. It lost its revenue base when we lost our manufacturing base. Granholms constant tax raises and overspending when she should have been cutting spending, worsened the effects of manufacturing leaving Michigan.

This created a budget problem for government which resulted in 2 major blunders for the Veterans home. First was the 4.2 million dollar budget cut by Snyder. Second was the privatization of the healthcare workers.

State Senator Vincent Gregory (Dem) said we didn't privatize our prisons so why should we it for our veterans?  Well, Senator Gregory got it partially correct. Snyder did in fact privatize part of the prison system. He privatized the food service part. And look at that disaster. The company responsible for it is in the news for serving substandard and sometimes plain rotten food to the prisoner population. I would call that a failure.

At the Veterans home we have J2S, a private care giver company that is also a failure. There is a high turnover rate of the workers many of whom are forced by contract to work double shifts for several days at a time without a break in the double shifts. And they work for just over minimum wage. Then there is the way the home deals with problem care givers. Instead of eliminating them, the home shuffles them around. Care givers are not allowed to get to know their patients and never learn the needs of specific veterans, making things more difficult and stressful for both the care givers and the Veterans.

Jim Dunn, Deputy Director of Michigan Veterans Affairs, says our veterans get the best care. How can he say that when the home is having the problems it has with the J2S workers? 

Many veterans are afraid to speak up about problems, fearing retaliation and of being kicked out of the home. And for many, it is the only home they have other than the street, so they do not speak up, out of fear of being kicked out.

Both James Dunn and Sara Dunne, (acting administrator) claim the problems with J2S is due to their being new, and adjustments are being made. Well, its been 2 years going on 3, and many of the problems still exist. I would like to know how many J2S workers have cycled thru the doors at the home in just this past year? 20? 50? 100? Every time I go to the home to visit the guys, I see new workers and when I do see someone that I know from when I was at the home, its one of the volunteers or a staff member. 

Just how is that "giving our veterans the best care"?

Lets face it: Privatization of the caregivers may have saved the state some money, but the state did so on the backs of the veterans they are supposed to be serving. The Veterans Administration would do better to pull its funding of the home and move these veterans to other locations.  The J2S experiment is a failure.

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