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Protect senior services in Minnesota budget battle, care groups say

Two of Minnesota’s long-term-care trade associations announced a legislative agenda to stabilize older adult services, protect Minnesota seniors and stimulate Minnesota’s economic recovery.The Long-Term Care Imperative is a legislative collaboration

Two of Minnesota’s long-term-care trade associations announced a legislative agenda to stabilize older adult services, protect Minnesota seniors and stimulate Minnesota’s economic recovery.

The Long-Term Care Imperative is a legislative collaboration between Care Providers of Minnesota and Aging Services of Minnesota. The state’s two long-term-care trade associations, want the state to:

• Provide a cost-of-living adjustment for all older-adult-service providers.
• Continue nursing-facility payment reform through consistent implementation of operating rate rebasing.
• Support capital investment in nursing facilities.
• Improve and streamline consumer access to home and community-based services.
• Implement long-term care financing reform.

They say older-adult services shouldn’t be pushed to the back burner – especially during uncertain economic times.

But times are more than uncertain, and the state faces a nearly $5 billion deficit in the coming biennium. And Gov. Tim Pawlenty has restated his resolve to do it without tax hikes. Ergo, there will be cuts.

“We recognize that we must all work together to make the tough decisions necessary to move the state forward in these challenging economic times,” said Gayle Kvenvold, CEO of Aging Services. “However, as a state, we cannot underestimate the fact that there are still critical priorities that need to be funded.  Even in these tough economic times, we must stay true to our Minnesota values. We cannot turn our backs on those who need us most – Minnesota seniors.”

“We are committed to working with the governor and the Legislature to create new efficiencies while continuing to deliver outstanding services to seniors and to identify a sustainable solution to the state’s long-term care financing needs,” she said.