Failure to Override Governor's Veto Puts Thousands of Vulnerable Illinoisans at Risk

Thursday, November 17, 2016 General News J E 4
AARP IL Deplores 'No' Votes in Springfield

SPRINGFIELD, Ill., Nov. 16, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- "The House of Representatives' failure to override the Governor's veto of House Bill 4351 is devastating news to thousands of Illinois' most vulnerable residents and their loved ones, as over 43,000 older adults are immediately threatened with seeing critical in-home and community-based services severely reduced or waitlisted.

House Bill 4351 was a compassionate, fiscally responsible bill that ensured the state's leading in-home senior care program, the Community Care Program (CCP), remained intact along with current eligibility standards. CCP provided essential services to older adults and individuals with disabilities, allowing them to stay in the settings of their own choice and avoid premature and costly nursing home care.  

CCP has been lauded by seniors and their loved ones for its quality of care, diversified services and support as they strive to maintain independence at home, while at the same time, taxpayers recognized the fiscally conservative program saves the state millions of dollars compared to Medicaid nursing home placement.

Governor Rauner's veto of HB 4351 not only endangered thousands of CCP clients – it also threatened to run numerous service agencies out of business, generating a domino effect in many of Illinois' local economies.

In spite of the support and advocacy of AARP and dozens of other organizations, the House of Representatives today failed to override the Governor's veto, opening the door for Gov. Rauner's proposed Community Reinvestment Program (CRP). 

The Governor's proposed program would cut nearly $200 million from CCP and in-home services in Illinois. CRP reimburses providers at less than half the current rate; providers will not be able to provide the same services for less than half the money.

In Illinois' ongoing budgetary crisis, cutting programs and services is fiscally irresponsible and does nothing to address the state's deepening financial woes.  Allowing these cuts to occur will be a small short term adjustment that will cost Illinois an extra $500 to over $1 billion per year in unnecessary premature institutionalization Medicaid costs that will be ongoing.  How will legislators justify that to Illinois taxpayers?

AARP continues to thank the leadership of State Senator Daniel Biss and State Representative Greg Harris – the chief sponsors of HB 4351 – as well as the Yes votes of those legislators who supported a veto override.  AARP Illinois is disappointed in the lawmakers who voted against the bill or chose not to cast a vote, as their action does not represent the best interest of CCP clients."


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