FY 2014 State Budget
Funding increases are needed for programs to help older adults stay independent in their own home. The MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program and the Office of Services to the Aging save the state money and meet the needs of a growing senior population. Action needs to be taken today to protect Michigan seniors!
What you can do:
PLEASE contact your legislators and ask them to support the Governor’s $18 million proposed funding increase in the MI Choice Medicaid Waiver program, and a 5% increase in OSA funding. If your legislators already support this funding, be sure to say THANK YOU! A list of state Senators and Representatives for our 9 counties follows:
- The Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) has taken $10 million in funding cuts between 2009 and 2011 (27%). This at a time when more and more seniors are requiring services. The OSA provides programs such as Meals-on-Wheels, home-based and community services, and volunteer programs. These programs, funded by non-Medicaid funds, are also major contributors to keeping older adults in their own homes and out of expensive Medicaid funded nursing homes beds. The dollar savings to the state are very clear.
- Meals-on-Wheels, an OSA funded program, was cut by $3.3 million from 2009-2011. An additional $500,000 was cut from this vital program this year by the federal sequester! The value of a home delivered meal is obvious. Less apparent is the intangible benefit: a Meals-on-Wheels delivery person may be the only person an older adult sees all week. The value of that human interaction to the senior is immeasurable.
- The program saves the state money. MI Choice Medicaid Wavier program, which includes the Nursing Facility Transition program costs an average of $52/day compared to average nursing home costs of $172/day.
- The Nursing Facility Transition Program (NFT) has immediate savings. Because the program transitions individuals out of a more costly nursing facility, there is immediate savings to the state and taxpayers. Last year over 1,600 people transitioned state-wide saving Medicaid roughly $38 million.
Who to Contact:
Rick Snyder--Governor (517) 373-3400 Rick.Snyder@michigan.gov
- Winnie Brinks (517) 373-0822 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jon Bumstead (517) 373-7317 JonBumstead@house.mi.gov
- Mike Callton (517) 373-0842 MikeCallton@house.mi.gov
- Brandon Dillon (517) 373-2668 email@example.com
- Ray Franz (517) 373-0825 RayFranz@house.mi.gov
- Bob Genetski (517) 373-0836 BobGenetski@house.mi.gov
- Thomas Hooker (517) 373-2277 ThomasHooker@house.mi.gov
- Joel Johnson(517) 373-8962 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Peter MacGregor (517) 373-0218 PeterMacGregor@house.mi.gov
- Rick Outman(517) 373-0834 RickOutman@house.mi.gov
- Lisa Posthumus Lyons (517) 373-0846 LisaLyons@house.mi.gov
- Phil Potvin (517) 373-1747 email@example.com
- Rob VerHeulen (517) 373-8900 RobVerHeulen@house.mi.gov
- Ken Yonker (517) 373-0840 KenYonker@house.mi.gov
- Darwin Booher--Senator (517) 373-1725 SenDBooher@senate.michigan.gov
- Judy Emmons--Senator (517) 373-3760 SenJEmmons@senate.michigan.gov
- Goeff Hansen--Senator (517) 373-1635 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Dave Hildenbrand--Senator (517) 373-1801 email@example.com
- Mark Jansen--Senator (517) 373-0797 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rick Jones--Senator (517) 373-3447 SenRJones@senate.michigan.gov
- Arlan Meekhof--Senator (517) 373-6920 email@example.com
Senior Advocacy in Action Alert
Legislators will be making 2013 budget decisions soon. Please contact them regarding funding for senior programs Right now, there are home and community based programs for older adults that work and save the state and the taxpayers millions of dollars annually – but they are underfunded.
MI Choice: Long-term care at home that saves Medicaid dollars- Medicaid-funded nursing home beds cost taxpayers on average $172/day; MI Choice allows eligible people to remain at home with supports that cost on average $52/day. There aren't enough MI Choice dollars to meet the needs of all who wish to join; 8,000 people still wait.
MI Choice Nursing Facility Transition Program (NFTI)- NFTI transitions Medicaid clients in nursing homes who want to leave but face barriers such as not having an accessible home, or needing services and supports to stay at home. Last year, over 1,600 people were transitioned; 3,000 people still wait. Proposed funding for 2013 will only fund the program for two months, yet according to Governor Snyder’s 2012 Executive Budget, NFTI has saved the state $65 million since 2008!
In-Home Services help people manage their own resources- Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) programs help older adults stay in their own homes through programs like Meals on Wheels, home and community based services, and volunteer programs.
Money for these programs has been cut 28% ($10 million) over the past few years while demand for these services has grown.
Contact these members of the Conference Committee (listed below) and urge them to fund:
$11 million to reduce the wait list for MI Choice
$23 million for the Nursing Facility Transition Program in the MI Choice budget—to meet the goal of 1,600 transitions in 2013.
$1.1 million to Office of Services to the Aging plus a 5% increase in each of the next three years. This will partially restore the $10 million in funding cuts over the past three years.
Conference Committee Members:
- Senator Roger Kahn, M.D. (866) 305-2132 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator John Moolenaar (517) 373-7946 email@example.com
- Senator Vince Gregory (517) 373-7888 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Senator Glenn Anderson (866) 262-7306 email@example.com
- Rep. Chuck Moss (877) 707-6677 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rep. Matt Lori (877) 262-5959 email@example.com
- Rep. Pete MacGregor (855) 347-8073 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Rep. Joe Haveman (866) 908-4347 email@example.com
- Rep. Richard LeBlanc (888) 737-5325 firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you for your advocacy!
The “Thrill of Victory” is how Mary Ablan, Executive Director of the Michigan Association of Area Agencies on Aging, described it. In a significant turnaround, funding for home delivered meals and other home care programs in the Office of Services to the Aging (OSA) FY’12 Budget were restored to current levels.
So why were these programs spared deep cuts while a long list of other state programs were reduced, including K-12 education, universities, community colleges, welfare payments, corrections, mental health, public health, and revenue sharing?
According to Mary Ablan, an avalanche of emails, phone calls, letters and face-to-face visits by aging advocates convinced state legislators and administration officials to restore OSA cuts that at one point were in the 15% to 18% range and some volunteers programs were slated for elimination. It clearly was one of the most impressive advocacy campaigns in aging network history.
Our thanks to those advocates who took the time and made the extra effort to contact a state elected official. Your deep commitment and dedication to programs that help older adults remain independent truly made a difference!