Aging Services of Minnesota testified for the second time on the governor’s budget, this time before the House Health Care and Human Services Finance Committee.  We spoke in opposition to the governor’s proposed 2.5% cuts to HCBS and care centers, and in favor of his proposal to repeal rate equalization.  You can listen to the hearing online; Kari Thurlow’s testimony is near the end of the hearing.

As in Senator Berglin’s hearing, opponents of repealing rate equalization presented passionate arguments as to why Minnesota should keep care center rates equalized between private pay and Medicaid residents.   However, House committee members seemed more open to arguments about how the law has become outdated: the state is no longer holding up its promise to pay the cost of care; federal law prohibits discrimination based on payor source; and short stays for rehabilitation are becoming more and more common as longer stays decline.

You can use the tools provided in our grassroots advocacy toolkit to contact your legislators about why now is the time to repeal rate equalization for care centers.  While you’re there, make sure to send them a note about why we should be prioritizing older adult services, not cutting them!