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Michigan to Vote on “Proposal 4” on Election Day

November 1, 2012

Michigan’s Proposal 4, which proposes to amend the state’s constitution to guarantee certain long-term care supports and services to elders and people with disabilities, will be on the state ballot on November 6.

PHI Michigan supports (pdf) this proposal because it fosters dignity, respect, and independence — for all who receive in-home care and all who provide it.

Establishes a Matching Services Registry

If passed, Proposal 4 would guarantee a set of services known as a “matching services registry.” Publicly funded registries create a platform for matching individuals who need home care services with individuals who are qualified — and desire — to provide those services. Fifteen states have statewide registries, and regional registries operate in four others.

Michigan established a matching services registry, the Michigan Quality Community Care Council (MQCCC) in 2005, but it was defunded by the Michigan Legislature in 2011 over concerns about unionization. The registry still continues with a small staff, funded through donations.

Supporters of the MQCCC launched a campaign this year to establish that the state guarantee the services provided by MQCCC because they consider the registry services to be critical to elders and people with disabilities.

Registry Functions

Matching services registries enable people with Medicaid coverage who have functional limitations to live in their own homes and control who comes into their homes to provide support services.

The core function of all registry operations is to screen potential workers and share those results with Medicaid beneficiaries looking for supports and services. Workers listed on the registry must first go through a screening process that usually includes reference checks, criminal background checks, and stated preferred work days and times.

Registries are a tool for workers to find employment and increase the ability of people with Medicaid coverage to directly hire home care staff rather than using a home care agency — a key to self-determination or self-direction. In Michigan, more than 80,000 elders, people living with disabilities, and people with intellectual or developmental disabilities use the self-determination option through several Medicaid-covered programs.

Proposal 4 also gives workers listed on the registry the opportunity to decide through a publicly conducted election whether they want to be represented by a union. There is no part of the proposal requiring a union to represent these workers.

PHI Commentary on Proposal 4

To learn more about the guarantees that Proposal 4 provides for elders and people with disabilities and why PHI supports the proposal, read PHI Midwest Director Hollis Turnham‘s commentary (pdf).

— by Deane Beebe

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