SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Aug. 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over 40,000 Illinois vulnerable seniors will face reduced services and potentially daunting waitlists in obtaining in-home care due to Governor Rauner's veto of the Community Care Program Protection bill. Last Friday, the Governor vetoed a measure which safeguards in-home and community care for seniors and people with disabilities across our state.
The bill, House Bill 4351, was sponsored by State Representative Greg Harris and Senator Daniel Biss to keep the state's leading in-home senior care program, the Community Care Program, intact along with current eligibility standards.
"AARP anticipated the Governor's veto and launched a grassroots campaign with our statewide aging partners to empower citizens and lawmakers to override the Governor's action," Ryan Gruenenfelder, Manager of Advocacy and Outreach for AARP Illinois.
The Community Care Program (CCP) offers in-home and community care for seniors to remain in their homes and community while preventing premature nursing home placement. CCP is lauded by seniors and their loved ones for its quality of care, diversified services and support as they strive to maintain independence at home, while at the same time, taxpayers recognize the fiscally conservative program saves the state thousands a month compared to Medicaid nursing home placement.
"Sadly this veto by Governor Rauner is another in his ongoing campaign targeting childcare, people with disabilities and senior citizens. We should be encouraging seniors and people with disabilities to remain in their own homes and low-cost community settings instead of driving them into more costly institutions and nursing homes," said State Representative Greg Harris, Chairman of the House Appropriations – Human Services Committee.
"AARP Illinois encourages Community Care Program clients, their loved ones, aging leaders and citizens across the state to urge their elected officials to override the Governor's veto," Gruenenfelder stated. "An override is possible, even in the face of politics, if we all demand action and change."
AARP Illinois teamed up with SEIU, the Alzheimer's Association, Care Coordination Units and other statewide aging advocates to have a unified voice for seniors and protecting their critical care in light of the Governor's proposed Community Reinvestment Program. The proposed program would cut nearly $200 million from CCP and in-home services in Illinois. The Governor's CRP reimburses providers at less than half the current rate; providers will not be able to provide the same services for less than half the money.
Among other provisions, the Community Care Program Protection bill (HB 4351) vetoed by the Governor would have:
- Shielded over 43,000 of Illinois most vulnerable residents from partisan and budgetary differences;
- Codified the DON score – a key measure determining the extent of an applicant's eligibility and need for services under CCP – at 29;
- Ensured CCP continues to exist to keep seniors in their homes as long as possible, preventing premature institutional care, and;
- Protected services for individuals suffering from Alzheimer's, mobility issues, and other conditions requiring assistance – ensuring they can depend on CCP services.
Gruenenfelder continued, "Illinois continues to face trying budgetary times. Maintaining the Community Care Program and the services it offers for seniors to live in their homes and community is a compassionate and fiscally responsible approach to address long-term care for our state's growing senior population."
For additional information regarding how you can voice your support for HB 4351 on behalf of seniors in Illinois, please contact the AARP Illinois office at 312-458-3611 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE AARP Illinois