Amazingly, this week on the radio I heard that Health and Welfare would suspend the funds they pay for “Meals On Wheels” for the last weeks in June! What are seniors supposed to eat for those weeks?
The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare has also suspended paying nursing homes for the Medicaid share of the cost of care. The Department sent out a letter dated March 31st stating “Due to budget constraints, the Idaho Medicaid Program will suspend payments to all Medicaid providers for the final three payment cycles of fiscal year 2010 (June 30)… Payments will resume the first week of July 2010. … Unfortunately, due to budget holdbacks, we are unable to make any exceptions. … Current projections indicate that the Medicaid program will fall short of state general fund requirements by more than $20 million.” This means for in-home care providers and nursing homes that participate in Medicaid, there will be no payments from the state and federally funded Medicaid program for caregivers and nursing homes for the last weeks of the Idaho budget year ending June 30, 2010. How are the at-home caregivers and nursing homes to provide care and pay their continuing operating expenses?
Shame on our State of Idaho government for taking away the safety nets that have been in place for decades designed to protect our seniors and disabled persons and give them basic life services of food and safe care when they are old or disabled and can no longer provide for themselves.