Think About It: Nursing Home Nonsense: A Real Story - KFVE, K5-Hawaii News Now, Local Programming

May 21, 2015

Think About It: Nursing Home Nonsense: A Real Story

The "system" doesn't work for Noboru and Elaine Kawamoto. They are a local couple who've been married for 67-years and now both need help through foster care. But the system doesn't allow two private paying clients to be housed in a community care foster family home as there needs to be space available for Medicaid clients. That's the law. The legislature had a chance to fix this seemingly correctable rule, but it did nothing. Perhaps the rule could have been amended to allow for two private care patients along with two Medicaid patients in one home, or four Medicaid patients in one home. That's what House Bill 600 proposed. And it never got out of committee. So this couple, together for 67-years in matrimony, is now kept apart due to the system, a system based on the law that was ostensibly created so that people who could not afford private home care could still find a place to be taken care of. 

But to keep a married couple apart… well that's just not right. So rather than wait for eight months until the legislature is back in session, is there anyone in officialdom who can help a couple who've been married since the 1950s get back together again in Kaneohe, their preferred home, and not just on weekends when beleaguered family members can drive them back and forth?

House Bill 600 might have had its flaws, in which case it should have been tweaked, or maybe there are some other reasons that involved legislators didn't like its contents. Maybe some outside, high-powered players didn't like its intent and convinced elected officials to quash it. Who knows? Certainly all bills cannot be passed for every individual circumstance that exists outside the system, whatever system is in question. But a system that deprives a married couple from living together? Come on, somebody fix this. Think about it…

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