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Great News About Family Care

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We are pleased that the State of Wisconsin withdrew its proposal by the Department of Health Services’ (DHS) to overhaul Family Care – the popular and cost-effective Wisconsin program that gives frail elderly and people with disabilities the opportunity to receive long-term care services in their homes and communities rather than in costly institutions.

Family Care, which is available in 64 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties, closely tailors long-term care services to the needs of the individual, saving tens of thousands of dollars per person and leading to better health care outcomes.

The program is all about giving seniors independence and choices about the services and supports available to meet their needs. I think we’d all agree – everyone deserves access to quality, accessible, cost-effective long-term care. Receiving this care in their own homes is a bonus, as that’s where these folks prefer to live anyway. By any measure, this program is a win-win for taxpayers and citizens.

AARP worked diligently to educate our members, lawmakers, and the general public about the details of the reform proposal. A lot of very important questions were raised and thanks to so many calls, emails and letters from AARP advocates, members, and other Wisconsin citizens, the changes are on hold indefinitely.

Despite this decision, we realize the fight is not over. In the next biennial state budget, we will be watching closely and remain committed to a thorough vetting of any future proposals to change FamilyCare. After all, this program is far too important to leave any questions unanswered.

We, at AARP, remain committed to the expansion of Family Care into all 72 counties and the expansion of the Partnership Program into all 72 counties. We believe in strong Aging and Disability Resource Centers and our current Managed Care Organization (MCO) model set up in regions across the state.

We look forward to continuing our conversations with the Joint Finance Committee , DHS, and long-term care stakeholders to build on Wisconsin’s current system and make it even better. Our end goal is to protect, preserve and continue one of the nation’s finest long-term care programs. We hope you will all join our efforts once again if and when this debate resurfaces.

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