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July 2015

Rauner's Disastrous Plan for Seniors & People with Disabilities
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In the latest chapter of thebudget deficit saga,Gov. Rauner is proposingstricter eligibility standards for people with disabilities in the Home Services Program and for older adults in the Community Care Program. He's doing this by upping the qualifying score forthe Determination of Need screen, or DON for short, thatis used for acceptance into the program and for identifyingintensity of services. Right now the cut-of score is 29; Rauner would like it raised to 37.

Changing the DON score minimum would not only deprive people currently receiving services, but would also lead to medical decline in the form of infections, bed soresand falls. Deterioration in healthiscurrently prevented because the Home Services and Community Care Programstargetpeople at risk of institutionalization. An elevatedcut-off score would meanadecrease in physical and mental health and a loss of independence for people receiving support through both of these programs.

Institutional care also costs more money. According to the Department of Human Services' own datashared by the Chicago Tribune,institutionalization, at $248,000 per person per year,is four times more expensive than community care. The proposed change, blatantly done forbudgetary reasons, doesn't even make fiscal sense.

Disagree with changing theDON's minimum eligibility threshold? Speak up! Send comments to the State using this model templateby July 18th. It's easy and your voice matters!

alt tag From our blog

Same-Sex Couples Celebrate New Marriage and Healthcare RightsThe Supreme Court of the United States has been awfully busy lately—after issuing landmark rulings to uphold the Affordable Care Act and legalizesame-sex marriage, SCOTUS is certainly living up to its name. And while these decisions have massive implications in completely different realms of the American social and political landscape, they both improve the future of healthcare for same-sex couples. After facing decades of coverage ineligibility and discriminatory practices, achieving marriage equality means that same-sex couples will finally receive equitable treatment in a number of different areas of the healthcare arena. Read more...

Advocacy Alert

Know someone in the Home Services Program? The State has been sending letters informing people in the program that they must be reassessed for their DON Score. There is a very short time frame in which people must respond. Reassessments have not always happened on a regular basis, so it's important for participants to be aware of this and respond promptly. The Illinois Ombudsman program is a free service for people in the Home Services Program who have questions or need help. Connect with Ombudsman nearby by referencing thiscontact sheet.

In case you missed it

Illinois must continue complying with consent decrees, according tofederal judges' rulings.The State must maintain funding for programs that help people with disabilities transition from receiving care in institutional to community settings.

The Supreme Court upheld the Affordable Care Act and health advocates celebrate while projecting whats next in healthcare reform.Ideasfocus onconnecting the remaining uninsured with healthcare coverage.

The State must continue to provide public benefits, even thoughlawmakers failed to pass a budget. Meanwhile, social service agencies worry they will lay off staff or shut their doors.

Get Involved

Serve your clients, patients, and community better.Join the Make Medicare Work Coalition! Benefit from: health policy training,advocacy alerts, resources, and the collective expertise of fellow MMW members.

Speak out against budget cuts for people with disabilities. Attend a July 15th rally at the Thompson Center from 11:00-12:00.

Download a presentation and/or watch a recording from the EverThrive Illinois Webinar series.

Learn what the ACA means for a small business owner from the Small Business Majority's Thursday talks.

From our social media

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