DRGs she would have stayed until she was fully recovered. When Mary was discharged in July, “she wasn’t even able to get out of bed,” says her nurse, who wished to remain unidentified. “If they left her in for a few more days, I think she’d do better.” At first, when Mary wasn’t even able to get out of bed, the nurse came in on a five-day basis. “We give basic personal care: bathing, preparing meals. But that was only covered for a short time,” the nurse explains. Right now, she adds, “Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday Mary is lost of care. She doesn’t have anybody to come in and fix anything for her. So if she eats, fine, if she don’t, the hell with it because Medicare won’t pay for it.” Diana Faulkner, home-care coordinator at Northwestern University Memorial Hospital in Chicago, sees patients every day who need an appropriate place to recuperate. Ironically, guidelines on home health care were tightened and spending was cut at the same time that DRGs were instituted. “Medicare is cutting back on both the length of stay and what qualified you for follow-up care, so they’re getting cut twice.” While Faulkner believes that home care is a good alternative and less expensive than the hospital, she is frustrated with Medicare’s lack of compassion. “You’re telling me to get patients out faster and sicker, but you’re giving me nothing to do it with,” she says. “Okay, I’ve compensated by taking the little old lady and gotten her home, but you’re telling me you’re not going to pay for that either. So what are you saying, get sicker and die?” POLITICAL INTELLIGENCE Bushwhacked V A mailing went out last month to key officials of the Texas Republican Party alerting them to possible liberal tendencies lurking within the soul of Vice President George Bush. Bush got himself in hot water with the right wing of the Republican Party when he accepted a “Republican of the Year” award from the Ripon Society a liberal Republican group. The Fund for a Conservative Majority immediately sent notice of Bush’s transgression to Republicans across the country, and then in a separate mailing to members of the Texas Republican Executive Committee and to Republican county chairmen across the state. “After five years, a lot of Republicans seem to have forgotten about the original split between George Bush and Ronald Reagan, and this is a kind of graphic reminder of what that was all about,” says Robert Heckman, chairman of the FCM. Heckman, who says his group is “friendly to Jack Kemp,” says the mailings are already generating disaffection in Texas with George Bush. “I think it’s going to do him a lot of harm,” he says. V The Fund for a Conservative Majority ranked the 31 first-year Republicans in the House on the basis of 10 Congressional votes this year and gave eight members a perfect score of 100 percent. Three of those eight were from Texas: Dick Armey of Denton, Joe Barton of Ennis, and Tom DeLay of Sugar Land. The fund’s analysis showed that “more conservatives are being elected to Congress than ever before.” V The Observer has good information that Lloyd Bentsen will probably run for re-election in 1988, despite the fact that his wife is not fond of the idea. Tending to support this information is the fact, reported by Molly Ivins in the Dallas Times Herald, that so far this year Bentsen has received $699,018 in campaign contributions, although his next race is three years away. i/ Bentsen has abandoned free trade with a program to penalize Japan, Brazil, Taiwan, and Korea with a 25 percent duty on all their exports to the U.S. if they do not bring down their governmental barriers to U.S. products. His co-sponsors in the House are Reps. Dan Rostenkowski and Richard Gephardt. . . . the world is taking advantage of us and following the example set by Japan,” Bentsen said in an article on his position. The 25 percent duty proposal, Bentsen said, is, above all, “necessary. ” No Switcher V Reports continue to surface in the Dallas Times Herald that Kent Hance told associates he was not going to switch from the Democrats to the GOP shortly before he did so. According to the paper’s “Tipoff” section, the switch “may have cost [Hance] a law partner.” Former Rep. Jack Hightower of Vernon is leaving Hance’s law firm and is quoted saying, “I’m not a switcher.” 1/’ On the average, according to figures compiled by State Policy Research, Inc., Texas paid $703 per person more in federal taxes in 1984 than was received, per person, back from the federal government. V State Sen. John Leedom of Dallas told Ron Calhoun of the Dallas Times Herald that even if Bill Clements had asked him first, he would not have supported Clements. \(Leedom is for Leedom said “the governorship should always be for eight years” \(two fourthe board of SEDCO, I wouldn’t hire Mr. Clements to be its president, I would hire his son.” \(SEDCO was Calhoun concluded that Leedom was insinuating that Clements is “too old to be running again for governor \(he’ll be headline writer took one more step: “Leedom: Clements over the hill.” Gung Ho c, David Remnick of the Washington Post was present when Rep. Jack Brooks, D-Beaumont, met Paul Tibbets, the pilot of the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima. Remnick reported what happened: “CBS `Nightwatch’ host Charlie Rose introduces Tibbets to the previous guest, ” `So you’re the one!’ Brooks barks off camera. ‘Damn glad to meet you. I was one of those Marines who would have been sent on the invasion of Japan if you guys hadn’t come along.’ “Tibbets smiles weakly. He has no reservations about the utility of the bomb, no guilt ‘I put those thoughts out of my mind.’ But he seems a bit embarrassed by Brooks’ bolt of enthusiasm. ” ‘Tell ’em about it!’ Brooks shouts. `Give ’em hell.’ “On the show, Tibbets says, ‘Please understand. I’m not for nuclear war. I’m not even in favor of warfare if you want to know the truth.’ ” v Only two of the state’s major dailies bothered to take issue with President Reagan’s fantastic statements about South Africa achieving “desegregation.” The Austin AmericanStatesman and the Dallas Times Herald editorialized against the President, pointing out that many of his facts were wrong and that, as the Times Herald put THE TEXAS OBSERVER 15 6 6 1000141116111006111111001-,
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The Texas Rangers are tasked with investigating corruption and crimes by public officials. Those officials are rarely held accountable.