Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
Vulnerable seniors have been victims of the state’s budget crisis. Within the past year, programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) have been cut by $7 million – an 18% loss. The Senate has approved its version of the budget and included the $2.3 million in OSA cuts. Now the OSA budget is in the House of Representatives. Your advocacy is needed to convince Representatives that more OSA cuts are ‘penny wise and pound foolish.’
What You Can Do:
Contact the members of the House Subcommittee (below) that will make a recommendation to the full House about funding for the OSA budget.
- Gary McDowell, Chairman (866) 737-4279
- Shanelle Jackson (877) 474-2635
- Alma Wheeler Smith (517) 373-1771
- John Espinoza (888) 830-0835
- Vincent Gregory (517) 373-1788
- Fred Miller (877) 347-8031
- Kevin Green (866) 538-4677
- Matt Lori (877) 262-5959
- Hugh Crawford (517) 373-0827
Additional 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
There are 4,400 on waiting lists for OSA services like meals and home care.
The Governor’s budget recommendations for FY 2011 include more cuts in OSA services. Totaling $2.3 million, the cuts would reduce in-home services, home-delivered meals, care management, volunteer programs, caregiver supports and other programs that help keep seniors living independently. 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 cuts go into effect, more than 2,000 older adults would be affected.
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.