This is in response to the recent Editorial “Horace Nye: It's time to sell”
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts.” - Abraham Lincoln
The Horace Nye Home is in my opinion the most important asset that the taxpayers of Essex County own. This facility through the years has been the final resting place for many residents who also contributed taxes and played key roles within this county for many years. In my community alone I can think of seven current residents of the Horace Nye Home that were long time successful local business owners in the Town of Moriah. One would have to wonder where these individuals would now be if the Horace Nye Home were in private ownership.
The argument that the Private homes do not accept Medicaid or Medicare is not necessarily true. Many private homes do accept this method of payment. The real issue is what percentage of the occupants are on Medicare/Medicaid? Another issue is people that are in the “Medicaid Pending” status when trying to find a home for a loved one. Most private homes will accept you if you have enough funds to pay privately for six months. Some Nursing homes that are having no difficulty filling their beds require patients to be able to pay privately for a year or more.
Privately paying residents pay more for their care than Medicaid pays for the same care. This is the reason as to why “Private” run Nursing Homes can turn a profit, and Public Nursing Homes operate in the red. It's very simple, if 90% of your residents (average for the Horace Nye) are Medicaid, your operation will not turn a profit. So what's the solution? Obviously you try to recruit as many “Private Pay” or insured residents as you can to fill the beds, as this is where they will make money.
Of course this creates a problem for the residents of this county for two basic reasons: We are a poor county, and most of our residents will be dependent on Medicare/Medicaid for their long term care needs. If they can't find a bed here, they could end up very far away from here. Albany County is proof of this, with many of their residents having to go out of state to find beds that accept Medicaid.
It was interesting to read the Editorials in both the Times of Ti and also the Valley News stating that it would be in the best interest of Essex County to sell the Horace Nye. How they made this determination I would like to know. What facts do they have to base this decision on? Have any of them ever had a family member in need of Nursing Home care? Have they ever been in the Horace Nye Home? Have they done any research pertaining to this critical decision other than reading the Board of Supervisors minutes?
Essex County has a budget that exceeds over 100 million dollars per year. Within this budget there are many programs that we the taxpayers support that are not mandated. Education, Public Safety, Jail, Office for the Aging, Fish Hatchery, Highways, Public Health, Mental Health, Arts, Cooperative Extension, Industrial Development, Libraries, Social Service Programs, and the list goes on and on! So out of this $100million plus budget, what does our County Manager recommends that we rid ourselves of The Horace Nye Home. Through the years this home has served thousands of residents of Essex County for one reason: It's is needed! This home costs the average taxpayer around $30.00 per year on their property tax bill. I as both a member of the Board of Supervisors, and also as a taxpayer feel that this is well worth the expense.
In closing, another quote from Abraham Lincoln, “You cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today.”
Essex County needs the Horace to remain public, and owned and supported by the residents of this county.
Supervisor, Town of Moriah