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Sanders seeks support for Vermont State Hospital

first_imgUS Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has brought together Obama administration officials, Vermont state lawmakers and the state Department of Mental Health commissioner to discuss federal funding for the Vermont State Hospital. Restoring the hospital’s certification could yield $10 million or more a year in federal reimbursements for the facility that the state now spends more than $20 million annually to operate and maintain.The state hospital in Waterbury first lost its federal certification in 2003, regained it in 2004, but lost it again in 2005. The lack of certification makes the facility ineligible to claim Medicare or Medicaid reimbursements that could cover more than half of the hospital’s costs.In July, the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, citing concerns about supervision of a single patient, again denied certification for Vermont’s only state-run mental hospital. The decision followed an unannounced visit by investigators to the 54-bed psychiatric hospital.While federal investigators have cited lapses, the hospital was certified in 2008 by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals, an independent, not-for-profit organization which accredits and certifies more than 15,000 health care organizations and programs in the United States.“The quality of patient care must be our top priority, but the state and Vermont taxpayers deserve a reasonable process for correcting problems and restoring the hospital’s certification,” Sanders said. “In these difficult financial times, it is unfair to Vermont taxpayers that the state is losing out on $10 million a year in federal reimbursements.”Sanders convened the meeting of representatives from the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Commissioner Michael Hartman of the Vermont Department of Mental Health, and state Sens. Susan Bartlett (D-Lamoille) and Diane Snelling (R-Chittenden).“We are on the same page and they gave us a path forward,” Sanders said afterward.Sen. Bernie Sanders meets in his U.S. Senate office in Washington, D.C., with (L to R) Cynthia Mann, director of Medicaid and State Operations for the U.S. Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Commissioner Michael Hartman of the Vermont Department of Mental Health, and Angela Brice-Smith, deputy director of surveys and certification for the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services. Photo by Frank Fey for the U.S. SenateSource: Sanders’ office. WASHINGTON, October 20, 2009last_img read more

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Legalising euthanasia and protecting the most vulnerable ‘impossible’

first_imgStuff co.nz 2 February 2016When I picture the woman who will be most affected by legalising euthanasia I don’t see an attractive 30 or 40-something mother with an unusual form of cancer, even though they seem to be the ones who get all the media coverage.I see a little 90-year-old woman who’s lost all her teeth and shuffles from the rest home dining room to her bedside with the help of a walking frame, then is helped into her bed by a nurse.Her family don’t visit. She’s lonely. She doesn’t have much money left. She feels selfish that she’s keeping it to pay for her last few years. She feels like she’s a burden, both on her family and the tax payer.She might not have much pain, but she thinks there’s no place left in this world left for her. She feels like no-one cares and no-one really should. She’s no-one, got nothing left to contribute.Right now we care for her. We recognise her right to life. We – you and I – help to pay for her. I do so happily because she built this country. She is not a burden to me.But then we make it ok for a doctor to help her die. Suicide is no longer a big deal requiring a lot of effort and force of will. It’s easy. She’ll stop being a burden, stop being a waste of space, using up money that might go to someone younger or more deserving. She feels that, she knows it. She even reads it in the newspaper from time to time.There is a lot of talk of death with dignity. What about life with dignity?READ MORE: http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff-nation/13810447/Legalising-euthanasia-and-protecting-the-most-vulnerable-impossiblelast_img read more