Disabled Missourians who depend on in-home care to live independently are protesting proposed cuts to the system.
As the General Assembly chips away at the 2011 fiscal year budget, recipients of some state services become increasingly concerned.
The Coalition to Save Home Care says one proposal would cut hours the state pays for in-home care down to 60 per month. They say that’s not enough. Another budget proposal would strip $6 million from the program, plus the federal match, meaning some would end up in nursing homes.
Representative Stephen Webber (D-Columbia) says it’s not just a cost issue, but a matter of human dignity.
Webber says these cuts would affect those already hit by Medicaid cuts during Governor Blunt administration, and they don’t deserve to get hit again. He joined the coalition at a rally at the State Capitol, urging lawmakers to preserve funding for home care.
The Coalition to Save Home Care says disabled residents who depend on in-home care to live independently says cuts to those services will result in death for some.
Plus, Webber says if many disabled folks end up in nursing homes, it’s a short-term cost savings that will cost taxpayers more in the long run.
Webber says there are two proposals working in tandem. One would cap the hours in-home care would be provided. The other would cut state and federal funding that finances the services. He says either is a bad idea.
The coalition says there’s a 60 percent federal match, which would be turned away if the state cuts its funding for the program. The group says several thousand residents in Missouri would be affected.
“It’s a tough year, but make sure those cuts don’t fall disproportionately on society’s most vulnerable citizens,” Webber says.