When Missouri legislators passed a bill providing $35 million for in home care support services, it was an effort to help people in need continue receiving the level of care necessary to remain safe and comfortable at home. Governor Eric Greitens vetoed the bill, claiming it was only a ‘gimmick’ that the effort was not constitutional, even though it was a bipartisan proposal.
On Saturday, July 1, 2017, more than 8,000 residents lost the care and support they had been receiving through the state funded program and another 6,500 had the number of hours they could receive cut. Now these residents and some of their representatives, are looking for a way to force the government to continue providing the support needed to keep these services moving forward.
Some are asking the Department of Health and Senior Services to step in and find the resources to continue with these supports, and there are several clients speaking up on behalf of this issue.
Now the main effort is to override the veto, but it’s unclear whether the legislature has the votes to accomplish this. Some of the legislators are also reminding other representatives that it’s not just the care and support these people are losing out on, but many caregivers who will no longer be able to earn a wage, even though it’s only a low wage opportunity.
As reported by KRCU, in the news blog, In-home health care recipients file appeals after Greitens’ veto; Democrats want override, written by Marshall Griffin:
“If the veto override fails, several former in-home health care recipients could decide to sue the state, especially those who have to move into nursing homes. Suzan Weller is assistant director of Disability Resources Association, an independent living facility in Festus.
“If the consumers are not able to reside in their own residences and be forced into an institution, (such as) a nursing home, that would be an Olmstead violation,” she said.
“Olmstead” refers to a 1999 ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court in which two people were forced to live in a nursing home in order to get the health care services they needed. They sued in order to receive the same services in a less restrictive environment and won.”
If the veto fails, there are some indications that a lawsuit could be filed, but it’s unclear whether it would have merit or how long it could take, should it be successful, to move through the courts and restore services to those who need care now.