CCCC recently joined with other members of the Master Plan for Aging (MPA) Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) in writing to the governor to express strong opposition to the devastating cuts to programs serving older adults, persons with disabilities, and their caregivers proposed in the state’s May Budget Revision. Of most concern are:
- Elimination of the Community-Based Adult Services (CBAS) program and the Multipurpose Senior Services Program (MSSP) absent federal funding;
- Reductions in funding for Senior Nutrition Programs, the Long-Term Care Ombudsman, the Aging & Disability Resource Centers;
- A 66% reduction in the 2019-20 augmentation for Caregiver Resource Centers;
- A $2.1 million cut to Independent Living Centers – 20% of their entire budget;
- A 7% across-the-board cut to In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) hours; and
- Restrictions in Medi-Cal eligibility and benefits and cuts to monthly SSI/SSP benefit levels.
Given the unprecedented economic crisis, we recognize that significant budget cuts will be necessary. However, the cuts to these programs seem excessive and counterproductive to the state’s efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.
Older adults and multicultural communities are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. Californians over the age of 65 account for over 79% of the COVID-19 deaths in the state, and older adults of color are dying at rates up to 6 times their representation in the population. The proposed cuts would force many more into emergency rooms, nursing homes, and homeless shelters where they are even more likely to contract COVID-19.