Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
Ask legislators to fund OSA services for 2011 at the same level as 2010 and to support the Senate version of the MI Choice budget for 2011.
We need your help! The Conference Committee making the final decisions on the Department of Community Health budget (SB 1152) has begun deliberations. The Committee members will decide on funding for two critical areas for seniors – MI Choice and Office of Services to the Aging. Please contact them to preserve funding for senior services.
Support for the Senate version of the MI Choice budget for 2011: The MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program provides home care services to people in lieu of nursing home placement at less than a third of the cost. As a result of MI Choice and other home care programs such as those provided through the Office of Services to the Aging, nursing home expenditures declined last year for the second year in a row. Savings to the state in 2009 are estimated at $30-$40 million, and because of this proven savings, the Senate has recommended increasing the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver budget to $196 million for the 2011 budget year.
Fund OSA services for 2011 at the same level as 2010: 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 is considering another cut of 8% for 2011, an aggregate cut of 26%. 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. Last year, $4 million in OSA services saved Medicaid $140 million! We are not asking for an increase, just no further cuts.
Following are the legislators on the Conference Committee making the final decisions on the Department of Community Health budget (SB 1152), including OSA and MI Choice.
Chair: Senator Roger Kahn
firstname.lastname@example.org 517- 373-1760
Sen John Pappageorge
Sen Deb Cherry
Rep Gary McDowell
Rep George Cushingberry
Rep Kevin Green
It is always helpful to also contact your own legislators, as well as the Senate and House leadership:
Sen Mike Bishop, Majority Leader, email@example.com 517-373-2417
Sen Mike Prusi, Minority Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org 517-373-7840
Rep Andy Dillon, Speaker of the House, email@example.com 517-373-0857
Rep Kevin Elsenheimer, Minority Leader, firstname.lastname@example.org 517-373-0829