CHA Shares 2019 Priorities for Long Term Services and Supports

CHA Shares 2019 Priorities for Long Term Services and Supports

California Health Advocates (CHA) is an active member of the California Collaborative for Long Term Services and Supports (CCLTSS). Below is a letter CHA and the 36 other organizations of CCLTSS submitted to the California Legislature outlining their 2019 priorities for long term services and supports.


December 28, 2018
 

Hon. Toni Atkins
President pro Tempore
California State Senate
State Capitol, Room 205
Sacramento, CA 95820

 

Hon. Anthony Rendon
Speaker
California State Assembly
State Capitol, Room 219
Sacramento, CA 95820

 

Re: 2019 Priorities for Long-Term Services and Supports

Dear Senator Atkins and Speaker Rendon:
The California Collaborative for Long Term Services and Supports is comprised of 37 statewide aging and disability organizations that promote dignity, health and independence in long-term living. Our members include advocates, providers, labor, and health insurers and collectively we represent millions of California seniors and people with disabilities, their caregivers, and those who provide health, human services, and housing.
 

Collectively, the members of the Collaborative hold an enormous scope of responsibilities for Californians of all ages who experience disabilities, functional limitations or chronic conditions and who need LTSS. Long-term services and supports are a wide range of personal, medical and social or financial assistance needed by persons with functional limitations over an extended time. The services may be publicly or privately financed,delivered in a range of settings, and may change as the needs of the individual who uses the services change.
 

Because California does not have a single unified system of care that addresses LTSS across populations, support for these services is necessarily spread throughout different departments and programs, and the advocacy efforts on their behalf are many and diverse. We have attached for you a list of LTSS policy priorities that members of the Collaborative will be advancing in 2019.
 

The proposals fall into three general categories:

  1. Preventing Losses of Currently Authorized and Expected Services
  2. Expanding Access to Needed Services That Bend the Cost Curve
  3. Strengthening and Modernizing Community Living and Supports

 

In the judgment of our members, these are the important issues and key investments that will move forward the programs and services on which seniors and people with disabilities depend.
 

In the past, due to the fragmented nature of California’s separate aging and disability systems, services and financing, these programs have often been weighed against one another in Legislative deliberations. This is problematic approach that replicates the fragmentation, disarray and fragility of these crucial systems of care. An older adult with dementia who needs assisted living, a disabled person who needs supported living services, a family caregiver struggling to hold a job along with intense caregiving
responsibilities, workforce shortages across social services programs, lack of access to the right program at the right time – all of the policy challenges that face California’s aging and disability systems are important, and it is a disservice to vulnerable Californians when these programs are pitted against one another in budget deliberations.
 

Members of the Collaborative members strongly believe that California needs a system of high-quality, cost-effective long-term services and supports (LTSS) that strengthen the person, his or her family, caregivers, circles of support, and the community at large. That system must promote the person’s well-being and social participation, promote economic independence, prevent impoverishment and remove barriers to employment. These needs are similar across programs and populations. The attached priorities will be brought before the Legislature for your consideration in the upcoming session. Our members, who have deep expertise in these programs and services, believe these priorities and investments need to be addressed. We urge the Legislature to take a comprehensive and holistic approach to financing of LTSS and the broad array of needs as well as the vast number of Californians of all ages who depend upon these programs and supports.
 

Please feel free to let me know if we can provide any further information. The Collaborative looks forward to working with the Legislature in 2019 to strengthen and advance LTSS for the vulnerable Californians who need them.
 

Sincerely,

Amber C. Christ, JD
Vice Chair for Policy
California Collaborative for Long Term Services and Supports
achrist@justiceinaging.org

See CCLTSS’ Member Budget & Policy Issues for 2019 (last 2 pages of document)
 

cc: Marjorie Swartz, Consultant, President pro Tempore Policy Office
Mareva Brown, Consultant, President pro Tempore Policy Office
Agnes Lee, Consultant, Speaker’s Policy Office
Gail Gronert, Consultant, Speaker’s Policy Office
Scott Ogus, Consultant, Senate Budget Committee
Theresa Pena, Consultant, Senate Budget Committee
Andrea Margolis, Assembly Budget Committee
Nichole Vazquez, Assembly Budget Committee

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.