Senior Care Coalition Calls Governor’s Proposal Bad Policy

Aug 23, 2017

A coalition of senior care organizations in the state is calling on the Gov. Bruce Rauner to drop his proposed Community Reinvestment Program.

Senior Manager of Advocacy for the Alzheimer's Association of Illinois, Andrew Kretschmar addresses reporters Tuesday, August 22, 2017 at the Peoria Alzheimer's Association.
Credit Tanya Koonce / Peoria Public Radio

The group says the governor’s plan would take away home care services for 36,000 Illinois Seniors.

Gov. Rauner's proposal, the Community Reinvestment Program, would replace the nearly 40-year-old Community Care Program.

Andrew Kretschmar is the Senior Manager of Advocacy for the Alzheimer's Association of Illinois. He says under the governor’s proposed program, many Illinois seniors would see their care reduced by a third.

Kretschmar says there is also no proof the governor’s plan would save the $120 million it claims to in the first year. He says there is no evidence or analysis to support the suggested magnitude of savings.

“The Community Care Program is a significant part of the Department on Aging’s budget. However, we have priorities and certain priorities just cost money and this one just so happens to cost money, but save us substantially more,” Kretschmar said.   

Kretschmar says it costs about $10,000 to help an elderly senior remain in their home with the Community Care Program. He says many of the seniors who stand to lose home support services under the governor’s plan would end up in nursing home care sooner, costing about five times more.

He says, in addition, the Community Reinvestment Program poses numerous threats to many seniors, their families, the home care workforce, the state’s network of senior service providers and the Department on Aging’s reputation.

 

The coalition is encouraging people to tell the Governor to withdraw his proposed Community Reinvestment Program.  

The coalition of senior service organizations is making the renewed call with the release of its new report called “Independence Lost.”

SEIU Healthcare also published a document on the proposed Community Reinvestment Program.