The Consumer Voice is spreading the word about an elder abuse prevention rally that is being held today for all those in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. The event is being led by one of the United Senate biggest senior advocates, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Senator Sanders is inviting other Congressional advocates and other advocates to stand together as a sign of unity to ensure that services are not cut for this vulnerable group-an action that would undoubtedly have the effect of increasing nursing home abuse and neglect. The rally is scheduled for today at 10am, in Washington DC at the corner of Constitution and First St. NE. in room 608 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building.
As blog readers know, the federal “Supercommittee” is currently meeting to discuss ways to trim the federal deficit. The committee is a bipartisan group of federal lawmakers who are expected to release a plan of combining revenue enhancements and programmatic cuts to improve the nation’s long-term fiscal picture. Many different options are on the table, and it is unclear if the group will be able to reach agreement at all on most proposals. Barring agreement certain “nuclear options” will be set into motion that may have catastrophic impacts on many elderly community members and their families.
Medicaid cuts are possible, and as the Consumer Voice explains, those cuts would have devastating effects on seniors and the disabled. Of course, Medicaid is currently the single largest source of long-term care nationwide. This includes assistance supporting quality nursing homes and assisted living facilities, but also personalized care that allows many seniors to remain in their own homes.
It goes without saying that in our area Medicaid cuts may lead to increasing instances of Illinois nursing home neglect. Across the country seventy percent of nursing home residents count of Medicaid to pay for their facility costs. Those costs are simply impossible for seniors to pay on their own, as they range from $75,000 up to $150,000 in some areas. Changes to the Medicaid system will likely make it impossible for many seniors to qualify for the care they need. In addition, even when they are able to have long-term care services provided, cuts to those homes could mean fewer employees are around to provide even a basic level of observation and treatment.
The Illinois nursing home abuse lawyers at our firm will be with all of those at the event in spirit. We urge all those available to take the time to attend and show your support at this important time. As everyone knows, the country remains in a perilous financial position. Clearly certain actions will have to be taken to right the troubling economic ship. However, there are fair ways to enact the necessary changes and downright reckless ones. Cutting vital services to already vulnerable communities is both irresponsible and not in the country’s long-term benefit. Besides attending this rally, we continue to urge advocates across the country to do everything in their power to urge local lawmakers not to forget the needs of these important friends and family members.
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