Leading senior advocates and the union representing 25,000 home care aides in the Community Care Program left out of Task Force after public criticism of Rauner plan to ration care
SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Bruce Rauner’s scheme to cut 36,000 Illinois seniors from the vastly successful Community Care Program (CRP) by forcing them into an untested and unproven initiative, the so-called Community Reinvestment Program, was met with intense public outcry from day one. SEIU Healthcare Illinois and numerous aging advocates were outspoken against the Governor’s plan and it appears are now being PURPOSELY left out of the Community Care Program Services Task Force, mandated to look into ways to improve services for seniors.
Rauner’s dangerous privatization scheme is still being pursued through the Joint Committee on Administrative Rules (JCAR) as Rauner refuses to withdraw the rules-despite state lawmakers approving a bipartisan budget that provides NO funding for the controversial program.
The Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, Caring Across Generations, and Health & Medicine Policy Research Group release the following statement, responding to key stakeholders being left out of the CCP Services Task Force:
“Shutting out the key stakeholders from a task force created in a bipartisan fashion to examine ways to improve the function of the Community Care Program must be considered a slap in the face by the Rauner administration to the vulnerable seniors who rely on the program to remain in their homes, the workers hired by these seniors to deliver the vital services and the legislators from both parties who wish to see this vastly successful program thrive.
“Shutting these stakeholders out of the task force seems more like a political vendetta than a commitment to finding real solutions for Illinois seniors.
“Positions on the task force were clearly laid out by state lawmakers with the intention of creating space for organizations with a mission to advocate on behalf of those who stand to be impacted. The Department on Aging instead chose to exclude those organizations after they expressed opposition to the so-called Community Reinvestment Program, resulting in state lawmakers refusing to fund the questionable proposal in the approved state budget.
“While we are disappointed in the Department on Aging’s actions, our coalition remains committed to protecting Illinois seniors and caregivers in the Community Care Program and stands ready to partner with task force members to find responsible solutions to meeting the needs of aging Illinoisans so they can remain living independently in their homes.”