SOURCE: AARP

June 16, 2009 18:34 ET

AARP Says Illinois Budget to Create Disaster for State's Elderly

AARP Vows to Fight Harsh Cuts to Health Care, Rx and Community Services -- Urges Legislators and Governor to Fix the Budget

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - June 16, 2009) - With one of the worst budgets in Illinois state history looming, older Illinoisans are bracing for disaster. While letters are in the mail to those who will be dealt the harshest blow, AARP has vowed to fight the hurtful budget which is set to slash health care, prescription drug assistance and programs providing critical community services for the elderly.

With nearly 2 million members in Illinois, AARP is urging the legislature and the Governor to go back to Springfield and fix the broken budget they left behind, before the harsh cuts take effect.

"This budget is devastating for Illinoisans of all ages; many who have already fallen on tough times will have the rug pulled out from under them," said Bob Gallo, State Director for AARP in Illinois. "Legislators and the Governor cannot, in good conscience, implement a budget that hurts so many people, including several hundred thousand of the state's most vulnerable elderly."

Key among the cuts opposed by AARP:

--  Community Care Program slated to cut by more than half, leaving over
    20,000 without the services they need to remain in their communities,
    subjecting them to more costly institutional care, such as nursing homes.
--  Closing all four Illinois veterans' homes -- leaving over 1,000
    veterans without health care and other services.
--  Circuit Breaker program cut by 50% -- which helps over 270,000 older
    Illinoisans struggling with high Rx costs and property taxes.
--  Slashing funding for the investigation of neglect and abuse in nursing
    homes.
--  Cutting home services for the disabled -- leaving over 5,000 people
    with no community access to the programs that help them remain independent.
    

"On behalf of our over 2 million AARP members in Illinois State, we are calling on our state elected officials to go back to Springfield and fix the nightmare budget they left behind," added Gallo.

AARP has set up the Illinois State Budget Hotline, toll-free at 1-888-616-3322, to connect the public directly to their legislators on this issue.

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    David Irwin
    (312) 458-3621

    Gerardo Cardenas
    (312) 458-3609