Friday, March 26, 2010

Budget update

On Tuesday, the Full Appropriations Council on Education & Economic Development took up the budget. As we told you last week, the House has a proposed $132.4 million (4.6%) reduction to nursing home funding. The Senate Ways and Means Committee took up the budget Thursday, and FHCA staff and lobby team members continued to monitor these discussions. As we've reported, the Senate has proposed a $199.5 million (7%) funding cut to nursing home care. This cut is nearly equivalent the Medicaid funding that is provided annually for the increase in CNA staffing from 2.0 to 2.9, which amounts to $211.8 million. FHCA continues to advocate that these funding cuts would threaten resident quality care and could negatively impact caregiver jobs, since 70 percent of your operating costs go to people - salaries and benefits.

The Senate has developed a contingency budget which considers the $1 billion that would come from the six-month extension of the enhanced FMAP, which we hope will be taken up by the U.S. Congress just after they return from the Easter/Passover break. However, even with the $1 billion in relief from the enhanced FMAP extension factored into their contingency budget, the Senate makes no attempt to restore any of the nursing home funding cuts.

We need your help with urging legislators to do the right thing and use the FMAP money as it was intended - to fund the Medicaid program and alleviate cuts to funding for nursing home resident care. Please join us in taking action and e-mail your legislators today. Ask them to oppose the nursing home funding cuts and use the FMAP money as it was intended. Click here and use our pre-printed message (or customize your own); you'll simply need to enter your zip code to identify legislators in your district. We appreciate your help with this important call to action to protect our state's seniors.

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