Congress should save home care

Many members of the House of Representatives want to forestall implementation of a proposal that would increase costs for the Medicare program, while forcing many older Americans to leave their own residences and go to nursing homes. To a reasonable mind, preventing the change seems the responsible thing to do.

At issue is a proposal to slash Medicare reimbursement rates to in-home health care providers by 14 percent. That would force many to go out of business. In turn, their patients would have to go to institutions such as nursing homes for care. That would cost the government substantially more.

The lawmakers’ proposal, the SAVE Medicare Home Health Act of 2014, has 24 co-sponsors – all Republicans. Not a single Democrat in the House has signed up in support of the measure.

If enacted, the bill would block implementation of a plan by the administration of President Barack Obama, a Democrat.

Lawmakers in a president’s party often avoid opposing him. But in matters such as that at hand, taking that stance does a disservice to constituents.

Clearly, ultra-partisanship in Congress is not serving the nation well. As long as Democrats such as Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., control lawmakers in their party, that unproductive situation will continue.

Amajor malfunction on a ride at the Cedar?Point amusement park in Sandusky will not be investigated by state inspectors. That should prompt state legislators to amend the law on inspections of rides such as those at carnivals and amusement parks.

Two people were hurt Saturday when a cable on a Cedar Point ride snapped and struck them. One was treated for injuries at the scene. The other had to be taken to a hospital.

But because neither person was admitted to the hospital, the law does not require state inspectors to check the ride. Cedar Point is investigating, and the state Department of Agriculture will have to approve reopening of the ride, however.

One reason for investigating minor accidents is to ensure more serious ones do not occur.

Of course, state inspectors should not be called in whenever someone stubs his toe getting off a carnival ride. But surely some compromise, perhaps requiring inspections when people require treatment of injuries, can be agreed upon.

State legislators should consider such a change.