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Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Osborne & Holt Want To Freeze Cedarbrook Funding, Even For Food

Lehigh County always beats Northampton County at budget time. Theirs is introduced first and is usually adopted by the time Northampton County is just getting around to conducting their mind-numbing budget hearings. This year is no different. Commissioners have already have turned in amendments to Executive Tom Muller's 2015 budget, and they'll be voted on tonight. To combat a structural deficit of $5 million, Commissioners Brad Osborne and Amanda Holt are willing to allow the nursing home residents at Cedarbrook get hungry. Marie Antoinette may have said, "Let them eat cake." But Osbonre and Holt are saying, "Let them starve."

Muller's Budget calls for $5,386.411 to go into Cedarbrook's  Operating Fund. Their bright idea to address this is to sequester all but $1 million into the General Fund.  An ordinance would be required to release those funds, which would take a month or more to adopt.

The interesting thing is the items they have chosen to say the County can't buy unless approved by the Commissioners. Osborne and Holt have proposed a $236,000 or 13% reduction in the amount of money used to feed the residents at Cedarbrook. And since they will be feeding them less, the Commissioners don't see the need to spend $114,500 on a buffet dining service program.

​The Commissioners say that the money can be spent if they are asked next year and approve it. This is the same group that believes in the TAD approach to approving items presented to them. Their motto is Table, Abstain or Defer.

Hey Cedarbrook residents, "Welcome to the real world"!

This, of course, is entirely irresponsible, and needs to be rejected. Cedarbrook​. residents should not be used as pawns in a budget game. ​

54 comments:

Anonymous said...

Local county government is in the hands of the teabaggers. Enjoy the ride.

Musty Muller make speeches but could care less. Did he ever buy the new corvette he wanted after the election?

Anonymous said...

On a bad day, Cedarbrook makes Gracedale look like Dachau. Nobody is going to go hungry. Nice try.

Anonymous said...

Godwin's law you jerk! Although Musty Muller has been using the Cedabrrook patients as pawns as he mismanages the finances of the nursing home.

Anyway Lehigh County adopts its budget way to early! Most municipalities do it in December so they can get to see 11+ months of revenue and expenses. The LC Commissioners have no 4th quarter data and are left guessing. You then wind up with someone like Dean Browning voting for an unnecessary tax hike.

The Central Scrutinizer said...

Those poor old people. What is this world coming to when we can't even bother with the neediest among us?

Anonymous said...

99% of the county's poor old people do not live at Cedarbrook and are struggling to pay an ever increasing tax load. Despite the hyperbole (remember the claim that Gracedale patients would be thrown onto the streets?), Cedarbrook is exceptionally well run and nobody is going to go hungry. Bernie learned to use breathless hyperbole from the goons who attacked him over Gracedale. He's using the tactic he criticized just two years ago. Hypocrite much?

Anonymous said...

Your post here lacks context. Do you know how the current amount budgeted compares to the past? Do you know how it compares to actual results in the current year?

Likely not. But the reduced amount (from the amount budgeted) could still exceed the prior year amount or what is being spent in the current year. Those are the games that can be played with budget numbers.

Aside from that, those are line items that are examined every day in private nursing homes, and I would imagine they are a significant portion of any nursing home's budget. Small savings (or overages) here can have a large impact and they should be examined.

I think what you're actually proving here is why nursing homes should not be owned by government. Real and necessary scrutiny will almost certainly be demagogued by some for political purposes. That will inevitably result in a lack of real oversight and mismanagement at the facility.

Anonymous said...

I see all the government and Obama hating nuts are out early as usual.

I guess the residents of both Cedarbrook and Gracedale made bad decisions. They were born and they haven't died yet.

Both facilities have reputations for good care frequently better than the private s

Bernie O'Hare said...

8:45, What I'm trying to prove is that Osborne and Holt are assholes who have actually proposed that disbursements for food be frozen at cedarbrook. They can stand on their heads tonight and say up is down. Neither one of them should be in office.

Anonymous said...

Anon 8:45:

Bear in mind that the food budget varies based on the number of residents. But since you asked for context, the amount in the 2014 revised budget is $2,048,000 and the amount spent through the end of July is $1,120,000. The amount requested by Muller for 2015 was $1,835,000 and the Osborne/Holt amendment reduces that to $1,600,000. Many residents at Cedarbook have no choice as to where they live. It is absolutely reprehensible to use the amount of money budgeted to feed them as an attempt to save money. Osborne and Holt should be ashamed of themselves. They should be known as the Soylent Green Team

Bernie O'Hare said...

"99% of the county's poor old people do not live at Cedarbrook and are struggling to pay an ever increasing tax load. Despite the hyperbole (remember the claim that Gracedale patients would be thrown onto the streets?)"


There is no hyperbole behind used. Osborne and Holt want to freeze most of Cedarbrook's budget, including the budget for food. It will take an ordinance to make sure they can eat.

When people said Gracedale residents would be thrown on the street, that was hyperbole. But what Osborne and Holt want to do is there for all to see. They are so intent on saving money they proposed an amendment that will result in starvation for Cedarbrook residents.

Way to go.

Anonymous said...

The real problem with the finances at both Cedarbrook and Gracedale are imbedded in the PA welfare code reimbursement formula that was changed during the Rendell administration. Since then you have seen a massive sell off of nursing homes across the state.

Meanwhile you have Pat Browne whose changes to the state fiscal code have made his lobbyist wife and boyhood buddies millions while the counties he represents struggle to house and feed the needy.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You are certainly correct factually, but I would argue that the "real problem" is having two officials who think they can accomplish anything good by forcing seniors to go hungry.

Anonymous said...

Holt lives and breathes the Republican Party and was appointed as Commissioner by five Republican votes. So is this the new direction of the GOP? Holt takes a budget with no tax increase and then sequesters money budgeted to feed seniors at Cedarbrook. She also eliminated money that would allow folks at Fountain Hill can take a decent bath or shower. Any rational R want to try and defend either of those moves by Holt?

Anonymous said...


hyperbole
[hahy-pur-buh-lee]


noun, Rhetoric
1.
obvious and intentional exaggeration.
2.
an extravagant statement or figure of speech not intended to be taken literally, as “to wait an eternity.”.

Example:

1) But Osbonre and Holt are saying, "Let them starve."

2) They are so intent on saving money they proposed an amendment that will result in starvation for Cedarbrook residents.

3) You are certainly correct factually, but I would argue that the "real problem" is having two officials who think they can accomplish anything good by forcing seniors to go hungry.

Anonymous said...

This is Cedarbrook; not Gracedale, where Bernie once said patients were crammed together and stacked like firewood. Bad lawyers without facts use bad hyperbole.

Bernie O'Hare said...

Actually, what I have done is stated what will happen as a result of the ill-conceived budget amendment proposed by Osborne and Holt. This is something we call logic. Try it some time.

As for Gracedale' residents, I have never disparaged them.

Anonymous said...

To apply the same philosophy to the elderly that Barack Hussein Obama, himself, did ... maybe Cedarbrook would be better off to just take a pill?

You didn't build that.

Anonymous said...

Constant tugging a heart-strings is tiring.

Anonymous said...

C'mon it's for the old folks!

No Cedarbrook patient will go hungry. But the overwhelming majority of the county's old folks who struggle to pay taxes and stay at home can starve or go without meds - and Bernie doesn't give a shit. That's a weird brand of compassion.

Bernie O'Hare said...

You cut the funding for their food and then say they won't go hungry. Then you attempt to bring out the ugliness in people over the cost of feeding these folks.

Anonymous said...

Anon 12:08 -

Of course you realize the Osborne/Holt amendment has zero impact on what people will pay in taxes next year. None.

And you're probably right that no one at Cedarbrook will go hungry. Although with part of the food budget sequestered you can't guarantee that can you?

We have an amendment that has no effect on taxes but has the potential to make some Cedarbrook residents worry about the quality of their care. The Commissioners often complain about the size and detail of the budget for Lehigh Co8unty. So they couldn't come up with a better item to sequester than the food budget for the nursing home???

Anonymous said...

Let them watch hockey at Ed Pawlowski's luxurious ice hockey rink!

Anonymous said...

I need to understand this better. I don't categorize Osborne as "Tea Party". He's one of the more thoughtful Commissioners.

Anonymous said...

Both counties should sell their nursing homes. Where is the leadership to do so ?

Anonymous said...

Agree, the budget is a month too early. Should have another month of actuals.

It was moved up so there was more time for reviews, but only a half dozen people come to the meetings.

Those that do come have agendas and don't understand the numbers/

Bernie O'Hare said...

1:02, Neither did I. Then he went for Holt.

Anonymous said...

Historically, Cedarbrook is as well run as Gracedale is not. Nobody will be permitted to go hungry except the 99% of Lehigh County elderly who'll have to cut back to pay a higher tax bill. The working poor are always cast aside.

Bernie O'Hare said...

As you already know the tax rate is going to be the same regardless what happens at Cedarbrook. Lost your ill conceived amendment does nothing to help the working poor. It is actually nothing more than pure grandstanding. It is also quite dangerous. You have deliberately sliced into the food allocated to the residence at Cedarbrook. That is just obscene. You should be ashamed of yourself for proposing such a colossal error. Cedarbrook has always been a better run institution then Gracedale.but I won't stay that way when there are commissioners or actually intent up on depriving the residence at that institution of basic sustenance.

Anonymous said...

Lehigh county prison just signed a contract to provide food for .95 a meal. Nobody is starving

Anonymous said...

Oh please

Bernie O'Hare said...

And this has what to do with Cedarbrook? The fact is that you've arbitrarily reduced the amount of food to be supplied to seniors there. What exactly is it you have against our poor elderly? First it was Scott Ott with Meals on Wheels, and now this. For Christ sake, this is even worse.

Anonymous said...

It costs $22.00 a day to feed a cedar brook resident and under$3.00 to feed a lehigh county prison resident. I don't spend anywhere near $22.00 a day to feed myself

Anonymous said...

Also, cedarbrook meals have to be approved by a certified dietician. Nobody is going to starve or go without a meal

Bernie O'Hare said...

Keep telling yourself that. The cost per day per resident at Cedarbrook is probably a function of those dietitians you just mentioned. Residence at a nursing home obviously have special dietary needs. It is likely that the cost exists because that is how much is spent. If you disagree with the cost involved ask for a study. Your don't just pull the plug on food. And I am particularly offended by your comparison of elderly residents with special dietary needs who have done nothing wrong, with Jail inmates. Incidentally I also think Jail inmates should be treated like human beings. Do you really should be ashamed of yourself for even thinking that something like this is good government.

Anonymous said...

So we have Geissinger telling folks to ration healthcare and Lehigh County telling Cedarbrook to ration food. Aren't these the same " throw grandma from the train" ideas that conservatives were accusing healthcare reform of?

Anonymous said...

All this constant tugging at the heart strings is very tiring.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Maybe STAFF EATS FREE to much and they don't want to address the overage that way.So the distribution chain will be modified . Gracedale is not a bad facility.WE have been there to visit Veterans.--- In some days of old the may have referred to Gracedale or Cederbrook as ' having to go to 'THE POOR HOUSE" in old age.This is what you may get one way or other if you live above your means . Well---Less than a mile from Gracedale is Moravian Hall Square. $ 10,000 a month maybe, Results the same in the end.---You Die ,they take you away.

Anonymous said...

Obama told us maybe our Grandmothers would be better off taking a pill.

So, stick a fork in the Conservative bashing.

Peter J.Cochran said...

Bernie, I disagree with you on Jail Inmates. Years ago we worked a "RED LINE BRIG" You fu#@ ed up - well The Marines here were not anybodies best friend.. Had a Navy dud from Easton, Wycoff or something he lost 23 lbs there , No covers on your Stainless Steel rack ,a sheet -3 Days bread and water ,crap in coffee can, no shower till we run 6 guys in cold water only in phone booth size shower and they get 45 seconds of H2O. This is not fun for them.. They almost never ever come back/./..

Anonymous said...

"Obama told us maybe our Grandmothers would be better off taking a pill."

What the Hell are you talking about? When my bother got sick ten years ago his insurance company dropped him. Should I blame that on some politician?

Grow the Hell up and get a grip! You baggers are insane!

Anonymous said...

Jail inmates are human beings and must be handled as per the law. They are not in someone's military fantasy world.

Anonymous said...

Pete that might be why I remember head line to the effect "Ex marine goes berserk kills..."

Bernie O'Hare said...

I am also sick of hearing his name mentioned in every post. Some people have an unhealthy obsession.

Anonymous said...

When some thing happens to "tugging a heart string" or to some one they care about (big assumption) they will be the first to demand county services.

Tug your such an Asshole

Anonymous said...

When some thing happens to "tugging a heart string" or to some one they care about (big assumption) they will be the first to demand county services.

Tug your such an Asshole

Anonymous said...

that should be "you're" an asshole

um-kay?

Anonymous said...

aside from basic spelling, wonder what ELSE we are clueless about?

Anonymous said...

bully, intimidate, name-call ...

loyal union Democrats in all their glory

Bernie O'Hare said...

The Osborne- Holt amendment has thankfully been pulled.

Anonymous said...

The Lehigh County commissioners want to cut food at Cedarbrook. They also want to reduce raises by making raises contingent on a budget surplus.

Sounds like a new "market based program". They could call it "Starve a patient get a raise"

Anonymous said...

Or starve an inmate raise

Anonymous said...

The Morning Call is reporting on fines being imposed on a nursing home chain which has two local facilities, Slate Belt Nursing and Rehabilitation and Valley Manor. This company subjected patients to "medically unnecessary" and "unreasonable" procedures.

So here we have the heroic private sector the "makers" putting fragile elderly people through procedures that will not help them and may harm them all for profit.

What say you tea baggers and other associated government and public worker haters? What do you think of your beloved private sector now after they used they power to subject helpless people to unnecessary procedures and charged you for it.

Anonymous said...

If the Commissioners are so worried about a deficit, why did they vote to amend the budget and add an unnecessary tax cut that amounts to $8 per YEAR per household on average? It defies logic.

Anonymous said...

Cedarbrook is an excellent nursing home...PERIOD!!! We are proud of the care we provide our residents. The country commissioners should stop the negative press about Cedarbrook...it's very upsetting to our residents. They have the right to live in peace not fear...they should build a new facility and renovate the old building into senior apartments...Brookview is a great place for seniors with Cedarbrook nursing staff close at hand when needed...