Those supporting McCoy’s plan are placing political needs or self interest before the elderly

To the Editor:

I am appalled at what I have witnessed for seven years.

In Deb Busch's Feb. 20 letter, she characterizes the Albany County Nursing Home future as a “saga” of political competing interests among Albany County Democrats. She also states that the Albany County executive believes that the county can no longer manage its nursing home efficiently and must have a private for-profit nursing-home conglomerate, Upstate Services Group, manage the nursing home. Legislator Busch agrees with the county executive and has voted to lease the home to USG.

I am surprised that Ms. Busch, a health-care professional and a Republican legislator, would support the leasing of Albany County Nursing Home to USG, which includes a taxpayer gift, or corporate welfare, at a cost of over $9 million with no oversight or guarantees of quality of care and future availability.

USG owns 11 other homes of which the one in Albany County, Hudson Park, has a record of poor management and care. In addition, Deborah uses the county executive's figures of a monthly cost of a million dollars, while the county comptroller said it was 30- to 40-percent less.

Legislator Busch should be aware that management starts with the county executive. The former and the current county executive both wanting to close the county safety net is what caused the inefficient management, including the refraining from filling beds, sending residents out of state to inferior homes away from their loved ones, and over-inflating the proposed cost of a new nursing home, making it cost prohibitive.

The former county executive testified at the Berger Commission to close and or reduce the number of residents at the county nursing homes. He promised to build a new home while in reality working diligently and unilaterally to close the Albany County Nursing Home.

The current county executive, Dan McCoy, submitted his report by his transition team to the press, recommending the need to close or sell the nursing home only two weeks after taking office as the Albany County executive. This is the same McCoy who was a great supporter of the nursing home in his former position as a county legislator.

I believe that the chairman, the majority leader, and most of the other Democrats on the Albany County Legislature are working desperately to save the greatly needed nursing home for current and future residents so that the elderly, infirm, and indigent are not sent out of state to inferior facilities at twice the cost. I believe that those who would support the county executive's plan are the ones that are placing political needs or self interest before the elderly.

Renée Barchitta
ACNH Core Family Council member
Roxbury, N.Y.

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