PA Budget Debate

AARP Concerned About Budget Transfers Proposed for Lottery Fund

The Governor’s spending plan would transfer $250 million dollars from the Lottery Fund to the state’s Medicaid budget, directed to the long term care fund. AARP Pennsylvania says that’s sending the wrong message.

Advocacy manager Ray Landis says the transfer would take money away from home and community-based programs for older adults and give it to mostly nursing homes for long term care. He says the lottery funded “Options” program has had stagnant funding for a number of years and in many counties, there’s already waiting lists for these services.

Landis says keeping people at home where they want to be is better for everyone, including taxpayers. He says we can pay for two and a half people to stay at home, for the cost of one person to have to live in a nursing home. He says the longer they can keep people at home, the better it is for everyone.

Landis says if we don’t do all we can to keep older Pennsylvanians at home, it’s going to cost all of us as taxpayers a lot more money to have people go to nursing homes.

Meanwhile, nursing homes have also expressed concern about the budget proposal, saying cuts in Medicaid reimbursement rates would widen a gap between the cost of care and current reimbursement rates.