Honolulu – Noboru Kawamoto, who served in the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and fought in Italy during World War II, lives in a Community Care Foster Family Home (CCFFH) in Kaneohe and is a private-pay patient meaning he does not rely on Medicaid as he is able to pay his own way.
The Department of Human Services (DHS) requirement is that only one private-pay client can reside in any one CCFFH. Elaine, Noboru’s wife for the last 67 years, because of the DHS requirement, is unable to stay in the same home with her husband and only sees him on weekends.
A similar bill was passed into law in 2009 but had a sunset date which was not extended. The current bill, HB600, will now probably go to a conference committee unless one of the houses agrees with the amendments made in the other chamber.
“I understand the need to provide long term housing for Medicaid patients” said Rep. Mizuno who introduced the bill. “It is not the intention of the bill to displace our Medicaid patients, but making an exception to allow couples who have spent their entire lives together to share their final years with each other needs to allowed. It’s just the right thing to do. It will not change the face of the Medicaid program.”