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Petition Tour for Medicaid Funding Visits Bangor 

An RV tour is criss-crossing the country to drum up support for quality senior care. Friday, it stopped at Ross Manor in Bangor.The American Health Care Association is behind the “Driving for Quality Care Tour.”Folks onboard are collecting signatures on a petition, urging Congress to pass emergency legislation to put 167-million dollars into Medicaid. It would be an extension of federal matching funds that were included in the Recovery Act.”Nursing homes are 70 percent dependent on Medicaid for their funding. So it’s a huge issue for us if further cuts are made,” says Michael Erb, head of Maine’s Health Care Association.Erb says Maine’s long-term care facilities are already losing money, so further cuts would endanger their ability to provide quality care.He says 15-thousand Mainers work in nursing homes and assisted living facilities.Congressman Mike Michaud also spoke out at the event about the need to address reimbursement rates.”One of the issues I’ve heard over and over again from providers, particularly in the second congressional district that has a high case load of Medicare/Medicaid patients, is that they’re going to have to stop taking in Medicare/Medicaid patients if we can’t get higher reimbursement rates,” Rep. Michaud says.For more information on “Driving for Quality Care,” visit drivingforqualitycare.com.