Home care preferred by most, and less expensive, too

Published 12:00 am Thursday, February 26, 2009

Mississippi legislators have an opportunity to save taxpayers millions of dollars by passing House Bill 105, which calls for rebalancing Medicaid funds to allow more people the choice of receiving care in their homes.

We thank the members of the House who passed the bill. Now, we urge the Senate to pass it.

The State Division of Medicaid, which funds both nursing homes and home and community-based services, spends about $58,000 per year to provide care for a single resident in a nursing home, while spending $18,000 for equivalent care through home and community-based services.

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By directing more funds to home and community-based services, legislators could save $40,000 per patient yearly.

Home and community-based services include homemaker services, adult day services, home health services, home-delivered meals, transportation and respite care. Between 2001 and 2006, the state’s increase in spending on nursing homes was four times that spent on home and community-based services.

Surveys show that Mississippi residents and people across the country overwhelmingly prefer to grow older in their homes and communities rather than move into a nursing facility.

Overall, Mississippi directs only 11 percent of Medicaid funds to home and community-based services, ranking 49th among the 50 states. The American Association of Retired Persons encourages you to let your legislators know that H.B. 105 would save the state money and provide you with more choices in how you age.

John W. Smith

President, AARP West Central


Bad apple spoils cinema

It only takes one person to ruin everything.

I was so excited when the movie theater in Pemberton Mall opened back up. Our youth and families finally had somewhere to go and be able to enjoy a movie without having to drive to Jackson, Clinton, Pearl or Madison. As a family we decided to support our local theater.

It had been eight years since we had gone to the movies here in Vicksburg and now I remember why I take my entertainment dollar out of our hometown. As the movie was ending someone in the crowd decided that it would be funny to throw a drink. After the cup hit a small child behind me, the liquid hit  me in the head. After getting over being mad, I realized that it is a sad day when you can’t go to the movies here in Vicksburg, and enjoy a good movie. After this event I will once again be taking my entertainment dollar back to other theaters because we can’t have anything nice here in our own town. It only takes one person acting out of stupidity to ruin a good thing here in Vicksburg.

Carolyn Walker


Two good men at odds

They are two people who obviously don’t care for each other. I consider Tommy Moffett, the police chief, and Jim Stirgus, head of the housing authority, friends of mine. I admire both of them as quality people. However, I do not think that the newspaper should be used as a source for the animosity that is apparent between these two quality men.

Chief Moffett should concentrate on the eight unsolved murders as well as the myriad other problems he has to contend with as police chief and not worry about Stirgus and the housing authority.

Stirgus has done an outstanding job as head of his operation. He runs it like the pro that he is.

Many times we, the public, have a tendency to try and butt into someone else’s business. That is life, and it happens every day. However, I feel that Chief Moffett should worry about the difficult job he has and Stirgus should concentrate, as he always has, on running the housing authority.

George M. Mitchell


First, learn black history

The few African-Americans calling for the dismantling of Black History Month fail to understand many Africans do not know their history, including them. It is discouraging to see observances addressing the artistic and athletic contributions, Dr. Kings’ dream speech, and a few other “firsts” to do this and “firsts” to do that every February.

Let’s try again. Africans did not come into being in the year 1619 with those 20 slaves in Jamestown. They were not even the first slaves in North America. The first were the 100 people held captive in 1526 by 500 white men on a coastal river in the Deep South. The colony lasted six months before it was wiped out in violence. The Spaniards who survived the massacre fled back to Haiti. The Africans fused with the Native Americans.

Because of the Europeans’ crude falsification and distortions, all Americans need to learn African history. They could start with Kemet (Egypt) then to the Sahelian Kingdoms of Africa: Ghana, Mali and Songhay.  In the course of almost a millennium, these empires flourished at varying times as an economic, political, cultural and a religious center.

There is much more, but African history will never be put in the history book or celebrated every day without educators knowing the history to put in the books.

Thelma Sims Dukes


School worries resolved

When my daughter first talked about transferring to Vicksburg High, I have to admit I had my reservations.  But I had heard some good things about what they were doing in our public schools, so we decided to give it a try. 

What we found was a huge array of course selection with the ability to take advanced placement in virtually every subject and highly motivated teachers.  I have never seen my child more engaged in the learning experience. It seems that dealing with the larger, more diverse student body is preparing her for college and the world beyond. In addition, she has thoroughly enjoyed all her new friends. I would have no reservation at all about recommending our schools to anyone anywhere.

Skipper Guizerix