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Senior Advocacy in Action Alert

2/25/2010 9:53am

Programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA), including meals, home care, caregiver services and volunteer programs, funded at $40 million one year ago, have been slashed by $7 million (18%) within the last year.  Governor Granholm recently announced her recommendation of an  8% cut for next year. Your advocacy is needed to convince Legislators that more OSA cuts are ‘penny wise and pound foolish.’ 

What You Can Do:

Contact the members of the Community Health Appropriations Subcommittee, which makes recommendations to the full Senate about funding for the OSA budget.  

Members of the Community Health Appropriations Subcommittee:

Talking points:

  • OSA services help vulnerable seniors stay in their own homes.  They prevent seniors from going into nursing homes, spending down their assets, and then going on Medicaid.
  • OSA services help seniors who are needy, some of whom are on waiting lists for the MI Choice waiver.
  • Last year, $4 million in OSA services saved Medicaid $140 million

Background:

Within the past year, OSA programs have been reduced by $7 million (an 18% loss).  The Governor’s FY 2011 budget includes cuts totaling $2.3 million. Without these services, caregivers get burned out and nursing home placement is frequently the result, with seniors spending down their assets and going on Medicaid to pay the $68,000 annual bill. If these are passed more than 2,000 older adults would be affected.

While the Governor makes a recommendation, the Legislature makes budget decisions. Home and community-based care has proven cost-effective and can save Medicaid money by preventing unnecessary nursing home placement.  Last year, $4 million in OSA services for the most at-risk clients saved Medicaid $140 million.

Email  Advocacy@aaawm.org  if you want to be added to the list to receive Senior Advocacy in Action Alerts via email.

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Area Agency on Aging of Western Michigan
3215 Eaglecrest Dr NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49525
Phone: 616-456-5664 or 888-456-5664 • Fax: 616-456-5692

aaainfo@aaawm.org

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