AARP Criticizes Governor's Budget Plan

Jun 3, 2015

Gov. Bruce Rauner talks about the budget during a press conference on May 31.
Credit Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner says he plans to raise eligibility levels for those senior citizens in Illinois’ Community Care program. Rauner says it’s necessary to help handle a budget Democrats’ passed without sufficient revenue.

The program helps keep seniors out of nursing homes by providing in-home health care, allowing them to remain independent. Gerardo Cardenas of AARP says the plan is short sighted as Medicaid will be forced to cover the cost of nursing homes.

"In reality, what these cuts are doing is creating a ripple effect and making things worse down the road at the taxpayers' expense, but not only at the taxpayers' expense, but at the expense of thousands of older Illinoisans whose lives are now endangered," Cardenas said.

The comptroller's office found that for every dollar spent on someone in the Community Care Program, it would cost three times that amount to pay for a nursing home.

Rauner has yet to say what the new eligibility levels would be.