Prevent Cuts to State Services for the Disabled and Elderly in Washington

Target: Washington Governor Chris Gregoire

Goal: Prevent cuts to funding for state home-care workers and services for the disabled and elderly in Washington.

Home-care workers and disabled and elderly clients are in danger of further cuts to state support of caregivers and medicaid clients. In recent years such cuts have significantly reduced the amount of time and services caregivers can supply to clients, and have forced disabled and elderly patients out of their homes and community-integrated lives, and into institutions. Cuts have been so drastic as to violate the Americans with Disabilities Act. At the same time, institutions are poorly funded as well, Washington being the fourth lowest in long-term care funding for nursing homes.

In 2010 Governor Gregoire ordered budget cuts that reduced the amount of home-care assistance disabled and elderly patients received. Since then several disabled and elderly clients, suffering from these cuts, filed a lawsuit requesting sufficient services to remain at home and out of institutional care. The 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the state because the cuts violated the Americans with Disabilities Act. Now, Governor Gregoire is requesting time to consider an appeal to this ruling. Home-care givers and disabled and elderly patients, along with over 30 national organizations are protesting this potential appeal, asking her to accept the ruling and provide them with necessary funding.

State funding should ensure that people with disabilities and the elderly are able to live at home, integrated within their communities for as long as possible. With recent and possible further cuts, many could be forced to move into institutions. Additionally, state workers, namely home-care workers have struggled disproportionately under cuts resulting in insufficient wages, and layoffs in recent years. Please support state home-care workers, and the disabled and elderly by requesting that Governor Gregoire accept the ruling against further cuts.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Governor Chris Gregoire,

Cuts to funding for state home-care givers and services for disabled and elderly medicaid clients have dangerously reduced the amount of time and services care-givers can provide to clients, and further cuts threaten to do more damage. An appeal to the court ruling that found that such cuts violate the Americans with Disabilities Act could seriously weaken state care for the disabled and elderly in Washington.

Already, state home-care givers have struggled with low wages and layoffs in recent years. People with disabilities, and elderly people who need in-home care, along with over 30 national organizations are protesting the consideration of an appeal to the ruling against state-proposed cuts. Home-care workers need better compensation, and clients need adequate in-home care. Further, disabled and elderly people have the right to receive in-home care so they can remain at home with family and involved in community life as much and as long as possible. The state is responsible for ensuring that they receive sufficient care in their homes.

Please accept the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling against further cuts to state home-care services to the disabled and elderly.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Sara Lafleur-Vetter via Flickr

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