|Lamont McClure calls Gracedale "sacred ground"|
|Peg Ferrarowants reimbursements increased.|
Among those at Saturday's gathering were Council members Mat Benol, Peg Ferraro, Ken Kraft, Lamont McClure and Hayden Phillips. Controller Steve Barron was present. Abe Kassis, one of three judicial candidates, was also present for the brief gathering.
McClure, as usual, minced no words. He called Gracedale a gift from the Moravians to care for those in need, making it "sacred ground," kinda' like an old Indian burial mound. In reality, the Moravians sold what they called Gnadenthal to the county. They got $90 an acre, too, which was pretty good back in 1833. But McClure was on one hell of a roll, so I did not have the heart to correct him.
The he called Gracedale a gift from the Moravians, too.
Mat Benol told the audience he knows of no Council member who is "against" Gracedale.
Peg Ferraro, who urged people to vote either Democrat or Republican, laid the blame for Gracedale's continuing financial woes on the doors of state legislators and Governor Wolf. The problem is the reimbursement rate paid for residents, which is not keeping pace with expenses. Though the census at Gracedale is maxed out, the nursing home will continue to lose money unless the reimbursement rates increase.
According to Steve Barron, the actual county contribution to Gracedale last year was $2.8 million. If that is borne out by the independent audit, as Barron suggested, that's far less money than was budgeted as a County contribution. But even Gracedale supporters would agree that something needs to be done to fix that reimbursement rate. Amazingly, a for-profit nursing home gets a higher reimbursement rate, in what seems to be an unspoken desire to push counties away from nursing homes.
John Brown, whose own spotty voting record makes him a lousy voter registration poster boy, was a no show. But he spent his spy, Cathy Allen.
Maybe she'll get another raise.