On May 13, 2013, hundreds of nursing home staff members gathered outside of the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago to protest the most recent cuts for medical services. While Illinois lawmakers allege that cuts are being made across the board, members of the cheering crowd rallied behind the idea that cutting Medicaid funding for nursing home residents is "just wrong."
One concerned citizen in particular stated that her brother is a resident at a facility in Aurora and recently the frames on his glasses broke. However, he is unable to get a new pair for at least 2 years, which is the mandatory waiting period. This is just one example of the repercussions from the state reducing or eliminating Medicaid funding for prescription drugs, dental care, eyeglasses, chiropractic care, and a variety of other services.
The Medicaid cuts that effectively eliminated dental, vision, and podiatry were supposed to save Illinois approximately $1.6 billion. However, state officials have admitted that those projected savings feel short by nearly 30%.
Fortunately, there is an increasing amount of awareness. For example, resident of a nursing home located in Quincy recently took it upon themselves to persuade Illinois lawmakers to restore some of the services that were cut as a result of Medicaid reform last year. The residents gathered to show their support for the Health Care Council's campaign titled, "Be a Star for Nursing Home Residents." The council is a professional association representing more than 80,000 nursing home professionals who serve more than 80,000 residents throughout 500 different nursing facilities in Illinois.
In furtherance of their campaign, representatives spoke to specific detriments of the funding reductions/eliminations. For example, a cut on a person's foot may not be thought of as a fatal issue. However, when the patient is a diabetic a simple cut can cause serious problems.
In order to show Governor Quinn and his staff that they truly are "stars," the residents were decked out in Hollywood attire, including crowns, feathered boas and fedoras. The residents then signed a petition that will be delivered to Governor Quinn, along with legislators.
On the other hand, the campaign did acknowledge that restoring Medicaid funds for dental, vision and podiatry would cost Illinois approximately $3 million to $4 million per year. However, with nearly 85% of residents within certain facilities relying on Medicaid funding, it is crucial to find a way to restore the funding and ensure that the residents will receive adequate care. The residents are real people with real medical needs.
The information in this blog was provided by Matt Hopf of the Herald-Whig. The article can be located at http://www.whig.com/story/22148391/nursing-home-residents-rally-to-restore-cuts-in-service.
Additional information regarding the recent protest outside of the Thompson Center in downtown Chicago can be located at http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2013/05/13/nursing-home-workers-protest-medicaid-spending-cuts/.
If you or someone you love has been injured, neglected or abused in a nursing home at the hands of nursing home caretakers, please contact Ed Fox & Associates today.