Here’s a call to action from our partners, Justice in Aging, to protect the programs that keep our elders and people with disabilities safe, healthy and at home (vs in nursing homes).
It’s clear that older adults – and in particular older adults of color – are at the most risk of becoming infected with and dying from COVID-19. Four out of five deaths in California are people 65 and over. And 45% of deaths in the state have been residents or workers in nursing and residential care facilities. Yet, the Governor’s revised budget cruelly targets the very programs that low-income older adults rely on for health care, to stay at home safely, and to meet their basic needs.
We need you to call, write, and tweet at your legislators and the Governor now, as these important budget decisions are being discussed, and let them know that we value the lives of California’s seniors and these cuts must be rejected.
Use the talking points below to convince lawmakers not to cut critical programs.
- Seniors and their families need home and community-based services like In-Home Supportive Services, Community-Based Adult Services, and the Multi-Purpose Senior Services Program to remain safely at home. Cutting these programs will separate at risk seniors from their loved ones and push them into nursing facilities, where nearly half of all deaths from COVID-19 are occurring.
- Older adults need to be able to access health care, especially during a pandemic that is taking so many lives, yet the Governor’s plan would rip away access to Medi-Cal to many by reinstating the senior penalty, and take back promised coverage from immigrant older adults, in addition to cutting other Medi-Cal benefits seniors need, like dental.
- Older adults at risk need more help, not less, during a pandemic. The state cannot cut programs like SSI that help people meet their basic needs, programs that prevent elder abuse, and other critical supports like nutrition programs. These cuts will only make a bad situation worse.
We can’t let California balance the budget on the backs of those with the fewest resources and who are most at risk. Older Californians built this state. We all need to fight back.
For more information on the scope of the proposed cuts, read our budget analysis. Find your legislator and their contact info. Contact Governor Newsom. Tweet at the Governor using @CAgovernor, and use our Twitter toolkit to tweet at your legislators. You can google to find their handles. Use the hashtags #CABudget and #CareNotCuts in your tweets.