Recently, legislators made the prudent decision to pass the Budgeting for Results law, holding Illinois accountable to fund only programs with proven effectiveness. Budgeting for Results lays out the state’s commitment to home and community-based care, including through Medicaid programs.
The development of Illinois home-care system has been a challenging venture over the past several decades; and yet the home-care system is hardly prepared for the aging of the baby boom generation. The proposed cuts to home-care programs through Medicaid budget proposals contradict the call to responsibility outlined in Budgeting for Results.
Proposals include increasing the eligibility threshold for Medicaid community-living waivers. However, our recent research for a report reveals that community-living waiver cuts will result in an increase in utilization of hospitals, emergency rooms and nursing facilities — more costly options than home care.
We call upon our legislators to strengthen, not weaken, their commitment to community living for Illinois’ most vulnerable citizens.
Associate Director, Center for Long-Term Care Reform
(originally posted as a Letter to the Editor here in the 5/23/12 Chicago Sun Times)