Everyone understands the need to pinch pennies in a bad economy but it is crucial to consider what is “penny wise and pound foolish.” Governor Christie may pat himself on the back for creating the largest government surplus in years but it will be at the cost of programs supporting New Jersey’s most vulnerable. The most draconian cut is a proposal to take $29 million from already struggling nursing homes. To make matters worse, since the federal government matches state funding for nursing homes dollar for dollar, nursing homes will actually take a double hit by this decision.
This is the point where pinching pennies will cost more in the long run and at greater expense to struggling individuals and communities who may not be able to handle it. The people affected are not the affluent members of society. They are hard workers of the nursing home industry who care for our loved ones. They are frail parents and grandparents who cared for us for decades and cannot take care of themselves anymore. They are granddaughters like me who watch helplessly as nursing homes struggle to care for their grandmothers. AARP has already been fighting tooth and nail to protect us and it is time for legislators to stand up with them to protect this community from bearing the full weight of a bad economy.