Kaitlin DeCero, seiuhcilin.org
A review of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s FY2017 budget, introduced Wednesday, shows he is targeting some 44,000 seniors with almost $200 million in cuts to the successful Community Care Program, which saves taxpayer dollars and keeps an aging population comfortably in their homes and communities instead of in costlier nursing facilities.
Rauner has provided no justification for the massive cuts (43% per senior) or the new costs they would put on taxpayers, to say nothing of the suffering it will cause seniors around Illinois.
Said Terri Harkin, Vice President of the Home Care Division at SEIU Healthcare Illinois:
“Bruce Rauner made noises yesterday about how ‘compassionate’ his administration is. There is nothing “compassionate” about ensuring that thousands of seniors no longer will be able to stay with dignity in their own homes and communities but instead will be forced into costlier long-term care facilities. Targeting seniors may help Gov. Rauner preserve tax breaks for the wealthy, but it is terrible policy that will cause suffering for thousands of seniors, does nothing to solve Illinois’ budget crisis and does nothing to contribute to the welfare of Illinois.”
1) The Bruce Rauner proposed FY17 budget dramatically cuts home care for seniors through a $197.6 million cut to the Illinois Department on Aging budget.
2) The Rauner budget would do this by splitting the Community Care Program (CCP), which currently provides home care services for roughly 84,000 seniors, into two programs: one for those covered by Medicaid, and a new “Community Reinvestment Program” for seniors not in Medicaid.
3) This proposal, if implemented, would have a substantial negative impact on the 43,700 seniors who the Rauner budget indicates would be moved to the “Community Reinvestment Program”
- The $197.6 million cut represents average cut of $4,520 in services annually per affected senior
- $4,520 is a 43% cut in services compared with the average amount of services seniors receive currently.
4) In CCP right now, the average cost of care per senior per year is roughly $10,430. The average cost to Medicaid of a nursing home is around $52,000 a year, or about five times as much.
5) The Rauner budget gives NO DETAILS about the nature of these cuts. The Illinois Department on Aging Budget presentation indicates that for seniors moved to the “CRP”
- There would be a different set of services available than those available to them now
- There would be different set of service cost maximums their services could not cost above.
Sources: Rauner FY17 operating budget book (mostly in the Dept. on Aging section, beginning at pg. 257)