The California Collaborative for Long Term Services and Supports is a coalition of statewide organizations that reach millions of seniors and persons with disabilities. In December, the organization raised a number of issues with Governor Brown, putting into focus many of the issues important to preserving and to expanding a network of long term services and supports.
While the State’s improved economic forecast has provided some good news, it’s not so good when it comes to services and supports for seniors, adults with disabilities and their hands on care providers.
Does the budget…
Eliminate a 7% cut to In Home Supportive Services (IHSS) scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2014.
Restore a 10% rate cut (made in June, 2011) for adult day health programs, now called Community Based Adult Services (CBAS).
Shore up services that have been reduced by federal sequestration, including senior nutrition programs, housing vouchers, and programs authorized through the Older Americans Act.
NO – Governor comments that seniors and persons with disabilities in California are among the best off.
End reductions in Medi-Cal optional benefits, including eyeglasses, incontinence supplies, psychiatry, and durable medical equipment, and restoring the dental benefit to its 2009 level.
Restore SSI/SSP to the purchasing power it had five years ago.
NO – only a modest cost of living increase included.
Address the housing needs of persons wanting home and community based services instead of institutional care.
Adjust the caps on rates for home and community based services within the state’s Medi-Cal waivers, so that these rates reflect the state rates for people with similar needs who are in nursing homes or other institutions.
Meet, within Budget Act appropriations, the new requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act as they apply to IHSS providers working overtime.
NO – In fact, the proposed budget does the opposite: it disallows any overtime pay for IHSS consumers, forcing those who have a caregiver working more than 40 hours per week to find someone else for hours above 40. Also applies to a caregiver who serves more than one client: no more than 40 hours total per week across all clients.
Medi-Cal rate cut:
NO, those already cut will not be repaid. However, where litigation blocked some cuts, the state won’t go back to try to get money.
NO restoration for PACE rate reductions
So the message is clear – these issues will not be addressed unless we mobilize and engage individually and through organizations that have clout in Sacramento. Get ready!