RALEIGH -- Hundreds of advocates and people served by long-term care support services urged their North Carolina elected leaders to reject harmful budget cuts to programs that help older adults and persons with disabilities and family caregivers.
AARP Associate State Director Mary Bethel said, "AARP is standing up with nearly 30 organizations today because we believe that seniors and those with disabilities matter. Cuts to Medicaid and the Home and Community Care Block Grant proposed in the Senate budget would not only be detrimental to their well-being, but would also harm family caregivers and could result in higher health care costs in the long-run.
Key programs like home-delivered meals help adults stay in their homes, support family caregivers and help people avoid more costly nursing home and institutional care. Aging in place is also the strong preference for adults as they get older.
If the General Assembly accepts the cuts that the Senate is proposing, 1,500 seniors could lose services on top of the 16,000 who are currently on waiting lists. Also at stake is the Medicaid which 5,238 older and disabled adults who are current recipients of State/County Special Assistance. These are some of the most vulnerable citizens in our state who need assistance with care and the loss of Medicaid will greatly impact their ability to receive the health services they need.
Adding to the Senate’s assault is the proposed elimination of the “Medically Needy,” program under Medicaid. Because the cost of health care is so high, this funding prevents aged, blind and disabled people and their families who have over-whelming medical bills from being economically devastated.
Because the vast majority of care is provided by family caregivers, AARP’s top priority in North Carolina is to provide support to the growing number of family caregivers and people who want to stay in their homes. AARP will continue to raise awareness about their needs and provide information and support to North Carolina’s family caregivers."
AARP is asking those concerned about these cuts to contact their members of the General Asseembly immediately.
To contact your elected officials, go to www.ncga.state.nc.us and click on the House or Senate tab. Then click on the Member List tab and the name of your elected official will come up. You can also call the NC General Assembly at 919-733-4111 for assistance in reaching your House or Senate member.