UDW Urges Major Changes in IHSS and Other Long-Term Care Programs; Blasts Governor’s Budget for Using IHSS as a “Piggy Bank”
SACRAMENTO, Calif., Jan. 6, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The following statement was issued by Doug Moore, Executive Director of the 65,000 member UDW Homecare Providers Union, in response to Gov. Brown’s 2012-13 budget proposal for In Home Supportive Services (IHSS):
“Gov. Brown, just like his predecessor, continues to try to use the IHSS program as a ‘piggy bank’ for budget cuts. IHSS cuts were wrong in 2008; they are just as wrong in 2012. His proposal to eliminate domestic and related services for all IHSS consumers who live with someone else (even if those they are living with are NOT their providers) is especially egregious. This would affect nearly 300,000 IHSS consumers, who would lose an average of 17 hours on top of the 23 hours already mandated in previous cuts.
“IHSS saves taxpayers billions of dollars over what it would cost to keep people in nursing homes. The overwhelming majority of IHSS consumers want to be cared for at home rather than in institutions. Cutting IHSS will put thousands of low-wage homecare providers out of work. These budget proposals are fiscally irresponsible and morally indefensible.
“We can no longer afford these constant attacks on IHSS. It is time to make significant changes in how we care for our growing number of elderly and disabled citizens.
“Federal health care reform as well as significant trends in health care management recognize and emphasize community based care as opposed to institutional care. We must take advantage of that by streamlining and unifying long-term care management so Californians receive high quality care in a cost-effective way and we can leverage the greatest amount of support from the federal government.
“Our governor and our state should be leading the way toward a coordinated system of long-term care for our citizens. At least the Brown Administration is talking about things like realigning responsibility for IHSS from counties to the state and coordinating care for people eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid. But these discussions do not mitigate the great harm that the proposed budget cuts will bring.
“Quite simply, our goal should be to move as many people as possible out of institutions and into their homes and communities. UDW and other stakeholders are willing to work with Gov. Brown and the Legislature to bring about needed long-term care reform and stop these never-ending attacks on IHSS. Clearly the status-quo is no longer acceptable.”
Contact: Steve Mehlman
UDW Communications Manager
916-804-2569 or 951-849-9080
SOURCE UDW Homecare Providers Union