Bill On Way Amid Continued Threat of Massive Cuts & 2nd-Class Service
Is it the Last Thanksgiving In Their Own Homes for 1000s of Illinois Seniors?
SPRINGFIELD-As evidence mounts that his administration STILL is seeking ways to enact massive cuts and to create a second-class range of services for low-income seniors, a bill to protect the vastly-successful Community Care Program was sent to Gov. Bruce Rauner’s desk Tuesday.
House Bill 1424, sponsored by Rep. Greg Harris in the House and Sen. Daniel Biss in the Senate, would lock in eligibility and service protections for the nearly 40,000 seniors who faced a $120 million cut during the budget impasse.
The Rauner administration continues to propose an untested and unproven patchwork of vouchers and strangers without background checks to replace the caregivers who help keep seniors in their homes instead of much-costlier nursing facilities.
The Rauner scheme was overridden in bipartisan fashion this summer, but some of these moves are being reborn in a controversial task force (from which leading senior advocates such as the AARP were excluded) run by the Rauner Department on Aging that has been meeting in recent months. The task force also is considering proposals to provide lower levels of care to seniors who are not yet covered by Medicaid.
Said Rep. Greg Harris:
“Without the Community Care Program, this could be the last Thanksgiving in their homes for thousands of Illinois seniors. That’s why it is so important that Gov. Rauner abandon his attempt to dismantle this vastly-successful program and sign House Bill 1424, so that seniors who need it receive the same level of care, no matter their Medicaid status.”
Said Sen. Daniel Biss:
“Gov. Rauner’s platform relies on attacking Middle Class and working families and his latest attempts to dismantle the Community Care Program remind us that even seniors aren’t immune from his right-wing ideological agenda. Unlike Gov. Rauner, I believe every Illinoisan deserves to age with dignity and security. That’s why I organized my Senate colleagues against Gov. Rauner’s proposed budget cuts and reductions in care and why I’m urging him to change course and sign HB 1424 today.”