• We are deeply concerned about the proposed elimination of and reductions in funding to the many programs that serve our most vulnerable citizens: seniors, persons with disabilities and those with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. These citizens are our family members, our friends and our neighbors. They are us! We need you to support the programs that support your agenda for independent living and self sufficiency.
• Cuts to Centers for Independent Living (CILs) mean there will be less funds to assist people in remaining in their homes, fewer people able to locate the critical services they need in the community, fewer staff helping young people reach their independent living and employment goals.
• Cuts in aging will mean more seniors will face the reality of giving up their independence, pride and dignity and seek long term care in institutions. No one dreams of a retirement fraught with basic life needs that cannot be addressed; no one dreams of giving up their independence.
• Elimination of key programs the health department including Diabetes programs, Epilepsy, Lupus, Poison Control, and cuts to programs such as Adult Cystic Fibrosis, Sickle Cell, and Hemophilia are of grave concern. Most of the individuals served in these programs face life and death on a frequent basis. Keep these programs in place and don’t play with people’s lives.
Attendant Care and Act 150 (which assists working individuals to pay a sliding scale for home health assistance) cuts will mean that fewer individuals will have access to attendant care, which ensures basic life needs are met for persons with disabilities. The cuts to Act 150 may mean that fewer individuals will have access to affordable care and consequently more will be unable to work. It will mean longer waiting lists and an increase in admissions to costly nursing homes.
• Community Mental Health, Behavioral Health, Intellectual Disabilities Base Services, Medical Assistance Out-patient (including Drug and Alcohol and Human Services Fund), County Child Welfare, and Homelessness will be consolidated into county block grants. Counties will have discretion how to spend the funds which have been cut a significant 20% from the current year. This means that there will be an increase in admissions to emergency rooms, corrections system and more people on our streets.
You should care because we all have a moral obligation to provide for the neediest and most vulnerable. Balancing a budget on the backs of the poorest and most disabled persons is a moral offense at the least! Help us keep the dream of independent living alive for all.