Social and Political Commentary

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Disabled seniors discriminated against

... Silver Legislature, opposes "user tax" for disabled/elderly patients

from Anne MacGillivray

The Silver Legislature reconvened its regular monthly meetings in the Senate Reading Room in the State House on Tuesday, September 20, 2005. The main focus of the meeting was the urgency of getting word out to the communities regarding the unfairness being delivered to private paying patients residing in nursing homes.

The State Office of Persons with Disabilities recognizes persons who are unable to care for themselves, and are placed in nursing homes, because of the severity of their problems, as "disabled" persons. Consequently, they are protected by the law. These are the partially or totally blind, Alzheimer's sufferers, hearing impaired, dementia, mentally challenged and wheelchair-bound patients.

For the third time in two years the Division of Health Care Financing and Policy held a public hearing to again increase the "user tax" fee placed on private paying patients residing in nursing homes. They are already paying a "user tax" fee of four thousand dollars or more annually, simply because they reside in a nursing home. To tax the disabled or elderly patients is unlawful and discriminatory and is in violation of The Americans With Disabilities Act, Article 114 of the State Constitution.

The Massachusetts Silver Legislature is strongly opposed to the "user tax" fee since nursing home patients already pay top dollar for their care.

We urge you to contact your legislators to tell them to do away with this discrimination by repealing the "user tax" fee immediately.

To contact The Division of Health Care and Policy, you may write to:
The Division of Health Care and Policy
2 Boylston Street,
Boston, MA 02115 or call
617-988-3100 or
fax: 617-722-2246

Anne MacGillivray
49 Melrose St., Apt. 1
Melrose, MA 02176
Tel:781-662-7956
Silver Legislator Representative for Melrose and precincts 3, 4, 5, and 6 Wakefield
and Silver Legislator House Speaker

October 7, 2005



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