Why Not

I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.

Press Release in Regards to Caps on Family Care

Here is a press release in regards to the Joint Committee of Finance Action on Medical Assistance, Family Care and SeniorCare.  Having spent a significant amount of time on this issue, it was very dishearting to hear that there will be a cap on Family Care.

On Tuesday the Joint Finance Committee voted to freeze all long-term care programs in

Wisconsin, impacting thousands of seniors and people with disabilities. In taking this action, the

committee ignored the calls, e-mails, petitions and personal stories of countless Wisconsin

residents. In addition to denying the needs of over 9,000 adults on Family Care and IRIS waiting

lists and more than 3,000 children on Children’s Waiver waiting lists, this decision signals a total

loss of momentum in the state’s 15-year effort to reform the long-term care system.

Although we appreciate the committee’s modest gesture to allocate $5 million annually in state

funds for Family Care services to individuals in urgent need of long-term care services, this will

only serve 400 people per year. Based on the thousands of adults and children currently on wait

lists and a possible doubling of wait lists during the two-year freeze, this allocation will not

provide much relief.

Advocates predict the new funds will not even support the total number of individuals estimated

to be forced into nursing homes over the biennium as a result of the freeze. The state assumes

that 5% of prospective Family Care enrollees, without access to community care, will be forced

into nursing homes between now and June, 2013—an estimated 484 individuals at a total cost of

over $30 million. Advocates believe these projections are low—Milwaukee County predicts that

300 people in that county alone will be forced into nursing homes each year. Although it did not

commit any additional funding, the Committee endorsed a proposal to add flexibility to the

budget bill – allowing some individuals relocating from a nursing home to enroll in community

long-term care.

Advocates had hoped legislators would prioritize community long-term care, like many previous

legislatures have for decades, and choose to commit a minimum of 10 percent of the $636

million in newly projected state revenues to stop the growth of wait lists. Unfortunately a

motion to do that failed on a party line vote of 12-4.

The Committee’s decision to freeze all long-term care programs, except nursing homes, will

seriously undermine the cost effectiveness of the state’s long-term care system. The only

entitlement the committee left intact is a right to live in an institution. The average cost of Family

Care is $2,800 per month versus the average nursing home cost of $4,000. Costs in other

institutional settings range from $16,500 to $40,920 a month. Now Wisconsin’s average cost of

long-term care will climb back up in national rankings, reversing the trend of the last decade that

saved taxpayer dollars.

In another Medicaid-related vote, the Committee took the advice of advocates and people with

disabilities and is requiring some transparency in the Medicaid decision-making process as the

Department of Health Services finds $500 million in savings. DHS will be required to submit

quarterly reports to the Committee that contain descriptions of any MA program changes

implemented by the Department, updated estimates of the projected savings associated with

those changes; and updated projections of total MA benefit expenditures during the biennium.

DHS must also submit any federal Medicaid waiver or state plan amendment requests to the

committee in a passive review process. This does not guarantee a Committee vote on any

proposed DHS change.

Read a full report on Wisconsin Community Long-Term Care here:

Keeping the Community Promise – Lifting the Cap on Long-Term Care in Wisconsin.



The Survival Coalition is comprised of over 40 statewide groups representing people with all

disabilities and all ages, their family members, advocates and providers of disability services. For

over 20 years Survival has been at the forefront of promoting cost effective, community- based services and supports for people with disabilities.

This site uses Facebook comments to make it easier for you to contribute. If you see a comment you would like to flag for spam or abuse, click the "x" in the upper right of it. By posting, you agree to our Terms of Use.

Page Tools