Feb. 5, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Holsinger: Veterans Health Care Program Could Be Model for Medicare

Reflecting on the power of home-based care, Kasich said it best: “In the past if somebody wanted to stay in their home, there were limited opportunities for them to do it. That day is gone. I can’t think of anything more important to a senior than to be able to stay in their home with assistance rather than being put in a facility that they’re not comfortable with.”

Political win-wins do not come about often in the current budgetary environment. All the more reason the joint committee should pay close attention to what the VA and many states have already achieved. By following their lead, Congress can book many billions in Medicare savings while improving beneficiary outcomes and satisfaction.

I believe this not only because of my experience running the U.S. Veterans Health Administration and serving as Kentucky’s secretary of Health and Family Services — I believe it as a son. Many seniors are just like my 102-year-old mother, who wants nothing more than to live in dignity in her home. Even though I’m a retired Army general, I’m not brave enough to suggest that my mother go to an institution to receive care she could get at home. Why shouldn’t all seniors have such a high-quality, low-cost option made available to them?

By letting people like my mother age gracefully in their own homes, we can all win.

Dr. James W. Holsinger Jr. is professor of preventive medicine and health services management at the University of Kentucky College of Public Health.

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