Following the drying up of program funds that helped provide home care to more than 80,000 seniors in Illinois, home care workers are launching efforts to get the funding reinstated. They’re doing it through a public media campaign to raise awareness about the crisis for home care.
SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana launched a paid media and public field campaign Wednesday urging lawmakers to pass supplemental funding that would aid in saving the distressed Community Care Program.
The messaging raises awareness about the loss of funding across the state that has already begun to take place. Some home care providers have reported their funding is no longer available, meaning they have had to cut or discontinue service to clients.
“The fate of 80,000 seniors and 30,000 home care providers is hanging in the balance while home care funding is held hostage to partisan gridlock,” said SEIU Healthcare Illinois and Indiana President Keith Kelleher. “This is a program that not only allows seniors to continue to live independently, but also saves the state money it would otherwise have to spend on long-term institutional care. Morally, politically and financially, we can’t afford to short-change our seniors.”
The campaign involves broadcast, TV, print and online media as well as direct mail to seniors and union members across the state.
The funding ran out of money in mid-March without any additional funding promised until after the closing of the fiscal year in September. The Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers (IACCPHP) has urged lawmakers to pass a $173 million supplemental appropriation and has estimated 37% of its members would not survive the fiscal outage.
Written by Elizabeth Ecker