By REP. JAMES LOCKHART
This week was another host of meetings and events in LeFlore County and the state capitol in Oklahoma City. I was fortunate to answer questions for a leadership course in Poteau on Monday.
There were many questions about the upcoming session and the state budget. So far, revenues have been better than expected, but we will have to wait and see how the holiday shopping impacts the final quarter of 2011.
Tuesday, I had an interim study over the elder boom in the long term care and senior services committee. Over 10,000 people turn 65-years old every day. Seventy percent of those people will need long-term care at some point. As the numbers of people needing care increase the cost of long term care services will increase as well. Currently nursing homes across the state are about three quarters full. All these statistics add up to a looming crisis in the long term care industry.
Many people believe Medicare will pay for their long term care, it does not. Medicaid does pay for long term care, but only after certain eligibility requirements are met. One thing I would like to point out is that without proper planning, only a minimal amount of personal assets are kept, all other assets will be sold in order to pay for long term care services. The current rate is over $100 per day. Proper planning for long term care is very important. I highly recommend seeking advice from an expert in long term care.
Senate bill 46 is a bill that extends the sales tax exemption to unremarried surviving spouses of disabled veterans. Many veterans in LeFlore County have asked me to support this bill. This week I coauthored Senate Bill 46. I will never forget the story of my grandmother receiving news that my grandfather was missing in action during World War II. The spouses of our veterans spend many days praying only for their loved ones to be safely returned home. This Veteran’s Day I would like to send out a special “Thank You” not only to our veterans, but also to their spouses, because they to also sacrificed.
I appreciate the opportunity to serve as your state representative. If I can be of assistance please contact me at home 918-653-7571 or my office 405-557-7413 or by email [email protected] or find me on facebook.