Saturday, May 06, 2006

You can cut the irony with a knife.

Tennessee has done it again. It has shown more lack of understanding and compassion for the disabled. This time it's towards Glen Barnhill. A man who is a paraplegic and uses a ventillator to breathe. He lives in his own apartment and takes classes on becoming a social worker. But, right now the ICU at vanderbuilt hospital is where he calls home. Why? well the judge wont let him go home. Why the hell is there even a judge involved? beats me. But the point is that he has committed no crime, yet is being detained at the hospital and faces possible transfer to a nursing home. See, blue cross - blue shield (bcbs) cant find him a new home healthcare nurse for him. The problem here is that Complete Home Health, the agency that provides Glen's nurses, WARNED bc/bs that care would be cut off ONE MONTH before bc/bs even started looking for a new personal attendent for Glen. So now he's basically 1) locked up 2) can't go home and 3) might go into a nursing home.

ok, here's the irony, Glen was one of the many protesters that took over the capitol building in March and fought for the Governer to reform its health care system. Hell, he even testified before a panel on how happy he is in his own home and NOT a nursing home. and how independent that makes him. So what the hell is the problem here? why does he have to suffer any more? is Tennessee really that incompetent? do i really need to ask?

And what makes this all that more of a slap in the face is that for every $1 Tennessee spends on home health care, it spends something like $168 on nursing homes. OUCH!

oh, and you can read all about it here and here.