IL Gov. Rauner proposes $120MM in cuts to home care; local seniors speak out

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - Due to the ongoing budget crisis, Illinois officials are evaluating whether or not to do away with something called the Community Care Program - which is something many seniors are speaking out against.

Governor Bruce Rauner has proposed to make $120 million in cuts to the program, which provides home care for elderly. AARP Illinois, Illinois Council of Case Coordination Units, SEIU Healthcare Illinois, local Carbondale senior and caregivers gathered to speak out on Thursday morning at the Senior Adult Services of Jackson County.

"It is devastating, horrifying, frightening and traumatic experience for us," says Phyllis Dees, a Community Care recipient.

"If this proposal goes through, it's going to take every cent that we have… and probably going to have to cash in insurance policies just to have the additional help that we need. So our children may have to bury us - I don't know where this is going to go or what we are going to end up with."

According to SEIU Healthcare, 36,000 non-Medicaid Illinois seniors will be affected by this change and the new community reinvestment program.

But Mike Deering, Director of Communications at Department of Aging, disagrees. He explains it does not exclude non-Medicaid users.

"The Community Reinvestment is not a one-size-fits-all approach; those who need more assistance in living on their own receive it, and those requiring less accommodation will have the necessary services suited to meet their needs."

Until there is an update with this bill, Dees has one solution.

Dees says, "We take this one day at a time…(that's all you can do)."

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