CHA Opposes May Revision’s Proposed Cuts & Delays for Key Aging & Disability Programs

May Revision, Opppose Cuts, Diverse people holding signs and protesting together

Last month as an active member of the California Collaboration for Long-Term Care Services & Supports (CCLTSS), California Health Advocates submitted this letter along with the other 59 supporting organizations, expressing our joint concern over the proposed cuts and delays reflected in the 2024-25 May Revision. We believe these cuts and delays undermine the state’s commitment to the Master Plan for Aging and erode ongoing efforts to address long-standing inequities in care systems for older adults and people with disabilities.

Some of the opposed areas for cuts/delays we discuss in the letter include those to:

  • Older Californians Act Nutrition Services. With the proposed cuts, up to 60% fewer home delivered and congregate meals would be provided than during the pandemic, with an estimated 10 million meals potentially lost over 3 years.
  • In-Home Supportive Services. The May Revision proposes to eliminate the IHSS benefit for undocumented Californians, reversing the state’s commitment to health care access for all residents, regardless of immigration status. This will drive these Californians to more costly care in skilled nursing facilities. This proposed cut also places a heavy economic burden on family caregivers, who are often low-income women of color, and who may have no choice but to leave the workforce in order to provide uncompensated care to their loved ones, thereby deepening existing economic disparities.
  • Housing and Homelessness. California is grappling with a concerning surge in housing instability and homelessness among older adults, with nearly half of unhoused individuals now aged 50 and older. The threat of homelessness is equally pressing for disabled Californians. The May Revision proposes drastic reductions to essential initiatives like Home Safe and the Housing and Disability Advocacy Program, and significant reductions in programs such as the Homeless Housing Assistance and Prevention (HHAP).
  • Medi-Cal Share of Cost. We are disappointed that the May Revision delays the implementation of the Medi-Cal Share of Cost reform. While we understand that California is facing a challenging budget environment, the current Medi-Cal Share of Cost program forces older adults and people with disabilities to survive on $600 a month to receive health benefits – an impossible task given the extremely high cost of living in the state. Medi-Cal Share of Cost reform is critical for ensuring that these vulnerable populations can afford essential health care without facing severe financial hardship and impossible choices, therefore CCLTSS urges the Legislature and Governor to remain committed to implementing this reform as quickly as possible.

California’s dedication to the development and implementation of the Master Plan on Aging in recent years underscores our commitment to rectifying long-standing inequities in care systems for older adults and people with disabilities. In this exceptionally challenging budget year, we deeply appreciate that the May Revision maintains crucial support by refraining from cuts to SSI/SSP grants, preserving investments in health care eligibility and benefits, and safeguarding critical home and community-based services, like Community-Based Adult Services and the Multipurpose Senior Services Program. To ensure continued progress, we urge the Legislature to reject harmful cuts in the Governor’s May Revision that would impact this vulnerable population and, ultimately, lead to higher state expenditures as a result of worsening health outcomes. We remain committed to collaborating with the Legislature and Administration throughout this challenging budget cycle to safeguard the well-being of older adults and people with disabilities.

Read the full letter for more details.

Karen Joy Fletcher

Our blogger Karen Joy Fletcher is CHA’s Communications Director. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she is the online “public face” of the organization, provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare and other health care issues. She is responsible for digital content creation, management of CHA’s editorial calendar, and managing all aspects of CHA’s social media presence. She loves being a “communicator” and enjoys networking and collaborating with the passionate people and agencies in the health advocacy field. See her current articles.