Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
Vulnerable seniors have been victims of the state’s budget crisis. Totaling $2.2 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
What you can do:
Contact members of the House and Senate Community Health Budget Subcommittees (listed below) and ask them to oppose cuts in OSA services for seniors for next year.
Since fiscal year 2009, programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) have been cut by $10 million – a 28% loss in state funding. And the Governor’s budget recommendations for fiscal year 2012 include even more cuts in OSA services.
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.
The Governor’s budget is only a recommendation - it’s the Legislature that makes budget decisions. Your advocacy is needed to convince Michigan’s Representatives and Senators that OSA cuts are ‘penny wise and pound foolish.’
OSA services help seniors stay in their own homes, spend their own limited funds wisely, and stay off the Medicaid rolls. OSA services are an important support for unpaid caregivers who are providing 80% of the assistance that frail elders receive. Even a small amount of in-home services can prevent institutional placement. In 2010, if the aging network’s 2,830 most at-risk clients in the community had not gotten help and were forced into nursing homes, Medicaid would have spent $191 million more on nursing home care. In contrast, those clients were served by the aging network at a cost of $2.4 million.
House Community Health Budget Subcommittee Members:
- Matt Lori, Chairman (877) 262-5959 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Peter MacGregor (855) 347-8073 email@example.com
- Dave Agema (800) 968-2320 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bob Genetski (888) 642-4088 email@example.com
- Rashida Tlaib (877) 852-4212 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Joan Bauer (517) 373-0826 email@example.com
Senate Community Health Budget Subcommittee Members:
- John Moolenaar, Chairman (517) 373-7946 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Bruce Caswell (517) 373-5932 email@example.com
- Darwin Booher (517) 373-1725 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vincent Gregory (517) 373-7888 email@example.com
- OSA services prevent seniors from going on Medicaid.
- OSA services are extremely cost-effective. The average annual cost of OSA services (meals-on-wheels and home care) was $1,000 in FY 2010. In contrast, a nursing home cost an average of $68,000.
- There are over 6,000 seniors on waiting lists for OSA services like meals and home care.