The debate over whether to privatize the County Home rages on stronger than ever as emotions from both sides run high.
Some people believe that government shouldn't be in the business of health care while others believe it shouldn't be considered a business, but instead a service it provides to the people. I can understand why people feel the way the do in regard to this issue. I can also understand people who are reluctant to take a stand either way.
The county exec's new mission in regard to the Home appears to be its one-star rating. Well, Lutheran Social Services also received a one-star rating so should that facility be sold as well?
As a matter of fact there are quite a few one star facilities listed. Does that mean they should all be sold? The medicare.gov website clearly states that the star rating is not meant to be used as substitute for visiting any facility.
It's only a tool to be used for asking a long-term care facility questions. A state survey is a five-day snapshot done once a year. It's an imperfect rating system for all facilities that are expected to perform perfectly. There is always room for improvement in every aspect of health care but nothing is ever perfect.
Perhaps there's an even bigger issue at hand though. Why is it that the county executive, the Chamber of Commerce and a newspaper working so hard to divide a community? Why is this a South County vs. North County issue? Is it the thrill of the fight? Perhaps it's a show of power or a political agenda? It could be all of them for all we know.
Whatever the reasons, I'm hard pressed to believe that the people of Chautauqua County would be so divided if it weren't for these influences.
Now don't get me wrong, people in high-profile positions have every right to take a stand but I don't think it should be at the expense of one's own community. Instead of trying to find solutions people have chosen to place blame on others instead of being held accountable for their own actions.
The County Home deserves the opportunity to prove that it can cut costs by making the changes Committee for Government Research recommended. The County Home's mission does not deserve to be sold just to balance a budget or because of a one-star rating. And the people of Chautauqua County deserve to be led by those who want more unity and less divide.
Mindy Kaufman is a Dunkirk resident.