44K At Risk of Forced Institutionalization by $200 Million Dismantling of Popular Community Care Program
CHICAGO–News is breaking that Bruce Rauner late Friday vetoed House Bill 4351, which protected seniors who receive home healthcare and the successful Community Care Program (CCP), which Rauner is seeking to dismantle with a $200 million cut.
Rauner’s suspect plans to create a new program to provide vital services to seniors have not been fully vetted or revealed, but already have been widely panned by advocates for seniors, including the AARP and the Alzheimer’s Association.
House Bill 4351, sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris (D-Chicago) and Sen. Daniel Biss (D-Evanston) would have prevented Rauner from manipulating the Determination of Need (DON) Score and limiting eligibility to seniors, which Rauner attempted last year. This is in addition to a proposed $200 million cut to CCP, which, in early talks, Rauner is proposing to replace with for-profit ride sharing vouchers, food vouchers and dry-cleaning services as an untried, unproven way to eliminate the in-home caregivers represented by SEIU Healthcare Illinois.
As a result of Rauner’s risky proposals, some 44,000 seniors are at risk of forced institutionalization.
Following is the response of Rep. Greg Harris:
“Sadly this veto by Gov. Rauner is another in his ongoing campaign targeting childcare, people with disabilities and senior citizens. We should be encouraging seniors to remain in their own homes and low-cost community settings instead of driving them into more costly institutions and nursing homes.”
Said Terri Harkin, vice president of home healthcare, SEIU Healthcare Illinois:
“The only thing certain about Gov. Rauner’s plans are that he intends to cut $200 million in care for seniors. Everything else he is proposing is either untried, unproven or outright ineffective. For instance, does the governor believe that an 84-year-old with dementia is going to successfully navigate the path from a single in-home caregiver to managing multiple contracts with outside vendors she doesn’t know who she must now trust to come into her home?
“The evidence shows that Rauner’s plans will cost taxpayers more in the long run, to say nothing of the anxiety and danger it will bring to thousands of seniors. This veto was a bad idea to match his bad policy in service of nothing more than a political vendetta.”
Sen. Daniel Biss:
“Keeping seniors in their homes instead of forcing them into costlier institutions fulfills our obligations to seniors, who have contributed their whole lives to Illinois. It is a shame that in their twilight, and for reasons that have nothing to do with improving care or saving taxpayer dollars, they are forced to be used as pawns in Governor Rauner’s political games.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, July 29, 2016