Thank you for advocating
Funding for meals-on-wheels and other Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) services were restored in the final version of the FY 2012 budget of the Department of Community Health (DCH) sent to Governor Snyder for his signature. An avalanche of emails, phone calls, letters and face-to-face visits by aging advocates convinced legislators and administration officials to restore the OSA cuts proposed earlier this year. One OSA cut remained, however - $120,000 in funding for Tribal Elder programs.) A last minute appeal for increased funding for the successful nursing facility transition program resulted in a $26 million increase in the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver line-item, which had been slated to get flat funding from the Governor, House and Senate. Thank you to everyone who voiced their concerns, and to all the legislators who listened.
Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
House reduces senior services funding. Now is the time to contact state Legislators and encourage them to protect seniors services.
This week on the floor, the full House restored cuts to the Office of Services to the Aging for meals & community services, and eliminated all funding for the three senior volunteer programs. These were the same cuts that came out of the House DCH Subcommittee. Here are the specific cuts:
- $1, 581,700 (18%) – senior meals
- $1,835,000 (15%) – community services
- $627,300 (100%) – RSVP
- $2,233,600 (100%) – Foster Grandparents
- $1,604,400 (100%) – Senior Companions
Due to procedural maneuvers there was no roll call vote on the OSA cuts.
This is very disappointing – however, here is what you can do now:
Send messages to the following, who are likely members of the conference committee, asking that OSA cuts in aging programs be restored.
Sen. Roger Kahn email@example.com
Sen. John Moolenaar firstname.lastname@example.org
Sen. Vince Gregory email@example.com
Rep. Chuck Moss firstname.lastname@example.org
Rep. Matt Lori email@example.com
Rep. Rashida Tlaib firstname.lastname@example.org
Here are more talking points you can use:
- 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.
Will the cuts ever end??? From 2009 – 2011, programs funded by the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) were cut by $10 million (28%), and even more cuts are proposed for next year!
The Governor recommended another $2.2 million in OSA cuts, coming from meals ($800,000), community services ($1 million) and volunteer programs ($400,000).
The Senate has approved an OSA budget with no cuts in senior meals, keeping the cuts in community services, and increasing the cuts in volunteer programs to $670,000. The House has approved a very different version that increased cuts in senior meals ($1.6 million) and community services ($1.8 million), and totally eliminated funding for three senior volunteer programs – RSVP, Foster Grandparents and Senior Companions ($4.4 million total).
The next step is a joint House-Senate Conference Committee that will work out the differences.