CA Healthline: L.A. Senior Advocates Stand Up to Budget Cuts

Oct 31- ADHC Rally photo (Photo credit: Steve Lopez)

by Stephanie Stephens, California Healthline Regional Correspondent

LOS ANGELES — Earlier this month when Gov. Jerry Brown (D) announced cuts of $2.5 billion to health and human services programs, advocates for low-

Oct 31- ADHC Rally photo (Photo credit: Steve Lopez)

Oct 31- ADHC Rally photo (Photo credit: Steve Lopez)

income, sick, elderly and disabled residents of Los Angeles County acknowledged that the first cuts are not always the deepest — or most damaging.

“We are appalled,” said Vanessa Aramayo, executive director of the California Partnership and co-chair of the Health and Human Service Network of California.

“Since 2008, California’s health and human services have suffered an astounding $15 billion in cuts, and this budget only continues the gutting of the social safety net that so many Californian families depend on,” Aramayo said in a prepared statement. “We must roll back the tide of continual cuts that target the same low-income and vulnerable Californians year after year.”

L.A. County’s low-income, at-risk seniors who are trying to stay in their homes rather than live in institutions must rely on a system of publicly supported programs that the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research has called “fragmented” and “often uncoordinated.”

If Medi-Cal eligible seniors enter nursing homes or arrive at emergency departments and hospitals, taxpayers still foot the bill. And that bill is projected to increase, particularly as services to keep seniors at home decrease. Medi-Cal is California’s Medicaid program.

Nationally, approximately 76 million baby boomers — those born between 1946 and 1964 — have begun to retire and clog an already strained health care system. California is home to at least nine million boomers.

UCLA’s brief concluded that “as existing options for public support dwindle, it is uncertain whether these older adults — and especially those who are the least resilient — will be able to make do with even less.”

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  • LAAAC is managed by St. Barnabas Senior Services; Funded, in part, by Archstone Foundation.
  • St. Barnabas Senior Services

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