Live chat on Proposal 4: Home Health Care issue
11:55
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Hi everybody! Meegan Holland here, statewide news editor for MLive. I'll be moderating today's live chat, which will get started in just a few minutes.
Friday November 2, 2012 11:55 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
11:58
[Comment From Dave Murray MLiveDave Murray MLive: ] 
Hello everyone! Welcome to our live chat today.
Friday November 2, 2012 11:58 Dave Murray MLive
11:58
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Welcome Dave Murray! Dave is the MLive reporter who's been covering Proposal 4.
Friday November 2, 2012 11:58 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:01
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Today's chat will include Dohn Hoyle, co-chairman of Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care, the organization backing the proposal. Hoyle is executive director of The Arc Michigan, a Lansing-based advocacy group for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:01 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:02
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
And it will also include Derk Wilcox, senior attorney at the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, which has been critical of Proposal 4.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:02 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:02
[Comment From Dohn HoyleDohn Hoyle: ] 
Hello, everybody, this is Dohn Hoyle of the Arc Michigan and co-chair of Citizens for Affordable Quality Home Care.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:02 Dohn Hoyle
12:02
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Welcome Dohn. We're just getting Derk onto the chat, and then we're ready to roll!
Friday November 2, 2012 12:02 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:02
[Comment From Derk WilcoxDerk Wilcox: ] 
Hello everyone. Thank you MLive for doing this.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:02 Derk Wilcox
12:02
[Comment From livingstongallivingstongal: ] 
Thanks for doing this. I've been following the stories all week long. I like what I hear so far but interested in the debate. My question is: Can you tell me about the registry and why advocates say it's needed?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:02 livingstongal
12:03
Dave Murray: 
Hello folks. Are panelists are typing in their responses.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:03 Dave Murray
12:04
[Comment From Clark GoodrichClark Goodrich: ] 
Hi!
Friday November 2, 2012 12:04 Clark Goodrich
12:04
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Clark, thanks for joining the chat. We're having a few technical glitches so hang with us.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:04 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:05
Dave Murray: 
Here is the ballot language:
Proposal 4: A PROPOSAL TO AMEND THE STATE CONSTITUTION TO ESTABLISH THE MICHIGAN QUALITY HOME CARE COUNCIL AND PROVIDE COLLECTIVE BARGAINING FOR IN-HOME CARE WORKERS

This proposal would:

• Allow in-home care workers to bargain collectively with the Michigan Quality
Home Care Council (MQHCC). Continue the current exclusive representative of
in-home care workers until modified in accordance with labor laws.

• Require MQHCC to provide training for in-home care workers, create a registry
of workers who pass background checks, and provide financial services to
patients to manage the cost of in-home care.

• Preserve patients’ rights to hire in-home care workers who are not referred from the MQHCC registry who are bargaining unit members.

• Authorize the MQHCC to set minimum compensation standards and terms and
conditions of employment.

Should this proposal be approved? (Yes or No)
Friday November 2, 2012 12:05 Dave Murray
12:05
Dohn Hoyle: 
Proposal 4 establishes a registry that links home care recipients with pre-screened home care providers in their area. Home care providers on the registry will be required to undergo strict criminal background checks and will have access to training so they can better care for seniors and people with disabilities. The registry also address compatiability issues between home care recipients and providers.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:05 Dohn Hoyle
12:06
[Comment From JacksonJackson: ] 
Do background checks apply to people that take care of family members, or only people on the registry?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:06 Jackson
12:06
Dohn Hoyle: 
A home care recipient would be sent three-five prescreened people who would be compatible, and the recipient can choose from those people, ask for more referrals, or select their own.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:06 Dohn Hoyle
12:06
Dohn Hoyle: 
Background checks are only for people on the registry.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:06 Dohn Hoyle
12:06
[Comment From JacksonJackson: ] 
Will this save taxpayer money
Friday November 2, 2012 12:06 Jackson
12:07
[Comment From Derk WilcoxDerk Wilcox: ] 
Livingstongal, the registry is to help a minority of the home help recipients who are not cared for by friends or relatives. However, the registry existed before and can continue to exist without Proposal 4. It does not require a constitutional amendment.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:07 Derk Wilcox
12:07
Dohn Hoyle: 
Yes. Proposal 4 can save taxpayer dollars, as home care is much less expensive than nursing homes, according to non-partisan studies by the AARP and the Anderson Economic Group.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:07 Dohn Hoyle
12:07
Dave Murray: 
Jackson -- Finances are not a factor. The Medicaid program will continue no matter what happens with the proposal.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:07 Dave Murray
12:08
[Comment From JKellyJKelly: ] 
Hi Derek and Dohn, I think its important for workers to have criminal background checks. Would the Council oversee all these checks? What about people who want to hire a family member that doesn't want to have a background check?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:08 JKelly
12:08
Dave Murray: 
Dohn, how will this keep people out of nursing homes?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:08 Dave Murray
12:08
Meegan Holland|MLive.com: 
Lots of questions about the background checks. Thanks for these.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:08 Meegan Holland|MLive.com
12:09
Dohn Hoyle: 
The ability of people to find someone to find services helps ensure they don't have to go to more expensive settings. The registry provides the ability to find a qualified home care provider.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:09 Dohn Hoyle
12:09
[Comment From Derk WilcoxDerk Wilcox: ] 
Jackson, there are no new provisions in proposal 4 that would save taxpayers money. The program for home help has been in place since 1981.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:09 Derk Wilcox
12:09
Dohn Hoyle: 
Dave: It allows people to get the services they need in their own home by finding a compatible provider who can come into their home who has the skills neccesary.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:09 Dohn Hoyle
12:10
[Comment From livingstongallivingstongal: ] 
But I heard that the registry was taken away by Snyder isn't that true?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:10 livingstongal
12:11
Dave Murray: 
Livingstongal -- I believe there is a registry available on a state website right now. Dohn would be able to tell us where that would be.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:11 Dave Murray
12:11
[Comment From Wild BillWild Bill: ] 
Mr. Hoyle has said several times in the media that Proposal 4 is "not about unionization" - if that is the case, why is the SEIU spending up to $9 million trying to put it in the Constitution?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:11 Wild Bill
12:11
Dohn Hoyle: 
The increase in the number of people who need services, along with the shrinking of the workforce, will make finding qualified people more difficult as times go on. The old method of putting up a flyer at a grocery store is not safe and does not provide results.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:11 Dohn Hoyle
12:12
Dohn Hoyle: 
SEIU, along with Michigan's leading senior and disability rights groups, supports Proposal 4. We believe strongly that a stable workforce of home care providers results in higher quality care for recipients.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:12 Dohn Hoyle
12:13
[Comment From Derk WilcoxDerk Wilcox: ] 
Most of the care recipients are family members or close friends and they don't need the background checks.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:13 Derk Wilcox
12:13
[Comment From Derk WilcoxDerk Wilcox: ] 
Proposal 4 is all about unionization. The unionization under the SEIU is the only aspect of Proposal 4 that requires a constitutional amendment.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:13 Derk Wilcox
12:13
[Comment From Lee WallaceLee Wallace: ] 
I have MS and won't be able to care for my 79 year old parents soon, so the state's home care Medicaid is going to be a life-saver, and the registry will be a big help. But I think home care needs to be a real, licensed occupation and I need someone who understands MS. I don't want to go to a nursing home! What's the plan for training paid caregivers and established some standards?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:13 Lee Wallace
12:13
Dohn Hoyle: 
Another IMPORTANT point is that senior and disability rights advocates have been pushing for this registry long before the workers joined a union.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:13 Dohn Hoyle
12:13
[Comment From Clark GoodrichClark Goodrich: ] 
As a person born 40 years ago with a significant physical disability who requires personal assistant services to get up every day, I like the idea of having a place I can go to find pre-screened caregivers. I could share a few horror stories of the caregivers I found by putting ads in the paper (but I will spare you that)!
Friday November 2, 2012 12:13 Clark Goodrich
12:14
[Comment From ChuckChuck: ] 
Mlive, the Detroit News, the Detroit Free Press, Lansing State Journal, Midland Daily News, Mt. Pleasant Morning Sun, Kalamazoo Gazette, Flint Journal, Saginaw Times, Livingston Daily and every other newspaper in the state - liberal to conservative - that has taken a position has said NO to Proposal 4. Why are they all wrong?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:14 Chuck
12:15
Dohn Hoyle: 
Lee: The current registry, when funded, did try to respond to the needs that both home help recipients and providers indicated they needed. One of our strongest supporters of Proposal 4 is the MS Society of Michigan, another strong advocate for home care training.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:15 Dohn Hoyle
12:15
[Comment From Derk WilcoxDerk Wilcox: ] 
Mlive says about the registry and training that: “those safety nets already exist, through professional associations and community service organizations like the United Way. It would be easier to argue Proposal 4 creates a false sense of security, by suggesting but not mandating quality measures.”
Friday November 2, 2012 12:15 Derk Wilcox
12:15
[Comment From Derk WilcoxDerk Wilcox: ] 
Chuck, you are correct. No newspaper I am aware of has endorsed Prop 4.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:15 Derk Wilcox
12:15
[Comment From Ken SocolowzynkKen Socolowzynk: ] 
The debate on this has been interesting ... the union involvement vs. criminal background checks and training. Aren't these two things sort of the common ground between unions and management anyways? Are we being told that the union would stand in the way of those things? That doesn't seem to have been the track record if A) the union already exists; and B) the criminal background checks and training, as has been said, "already exists." Can you clear up this?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:15 Ken Socolowzynk
12:16
[Comment From Clark GoodrichClark Goodrich: ] 
It is certainly not ALL about unionization, and I rather resent that limited perspective!
Friday November 2, 2012 12:16 Clark Goodrich
12:16
Dohn Hoyle: 
Chuck: The Michigan Disbility Rights Coalition, the Arc of Michigan, the Area Agencies on Aging Association of Michigan, the MS Society of Michigan, the Michigan Nurses Association, law enforcement from across the state, and many more endorse Proposal 4. They are highly qualified to speak on senior and disability rights issues.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:16 Dohn Hoyle
12:17
[Comment From EdSharpeEdSharpe: ] 
I'm interested in who supports and opposes each proposal. You can tell a lot that way. I saw all the supporters on the Proposal 4 website but the no website, the Mackinac Center doesn't list any of their supporters. Who is backing the no side?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:17 EdSharpe
12:17
Dave Murray: 
Dohn: Would the disability groups have been able to get the petitions signed and the measure on the ballot without the assistance of the SEIU?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:17 Dave Murray
12:17
[Comment From macnuggettsmacnuggetts: ] 
If the workers are already union then they don't need a constitutuional amendment right Derek
Friday November 2, 2012 12:17 macnuggetts
12:18
[Comment From Derk WilcoxDerk Wilcox: ] 
Ken, the SEIU already represents the home care workers and has to date skimmed over $32 million that was intended to go for the care of the home help recipients.
Friday November 2, 2012 12:18 Derk Wilcox
12:18
[Comment From miles braffordmiles brafford: ] 
my mother receives home care through the Medicaid program. We, her family, aren't able to care for her ourselves and we want this program to be available for her to receive good care. It is my understanding the legislature cut funding for many of the important parts of this program. That's why we have to vote yes on proposition 4
Friday November 2, 2012 12:18 miles brafford
12:18
[Comment From Downriver JimDownriver Jim: ] 
I've been reading stories of families who are looking after their own children and don't like paying money to the union. If Proposal 4 passes, will they still be forced to pay?
Friday November 2, 2012 12:18 Downriver Jim
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