Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Weathering the Storm

As Tallahassee continues to receive unending rain, our dedicated FHCA members braved the weather and made their way up to the Capitol for their legislative visits. The weather may have dampened some of the Dade Day activities, but with a captive audience in the Capitol, our members were able to see many more of their legislators.

This is very important, as we are in the midst of serious budget problems and need everyone's support to help educate legislators to the extent of the problem. The proposed nursing home funding cuts - $81 million in the Senate and $69 million in the House - could threaten quality care and quality of life for our state's frail elders. These cuts are unacceptable, particularly when money is available from the federal stimulus package, yet lawmakers are moving over $780 million of stimulus dollars out of health and human services and into other areas. FHCA members, family members of residents and long term care staff are encouraged to contact their legislators and urge them to oppose these funding cuts and use the stimulus dollars as they were intended - to fund the Medicaid program. You can click here, or use the Take Action link to the right under the FHCA Online Resources section to send this important message to your legislators.

The state budget is often one of the last bills to get worked out during the session, so we know there is a process ahead, With the magnitude of the funding cuts, however, we cannot afford to wait or let up on our elected officials.

Next Monday, April 6th, FHCA will host a press conference with Senator Nan Rich and other elder care advocates to oppose these cuts and raise awareness about using the stimulus as it was intended. If you're in town, please stop by the 4th floor Senate Rotunda at 12:15 p.m. to show your support. In the meantime, stay tuned for more on this important issue next week.

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