To the Editor:
Many valuable services, including home and community-based care programs, are facing deep cuts in the Executive Budget, but not all budget cuts are as they seem (Aid cuts, tax hikes in Paterson budget plan, 1/19/10).
It is important that the State Legislature realize that home and community-based care is part of the solution to the State’s fiscal crisis because it prevents and delays the delivery of care in higher cost settings. The Governor’s home care cuts will limit access to home care services and drive the elderly, disabled, and chronically-ill into costly emergency departments, hospitals, and nursing facilities, eventually costing the State significantly more than was saved in original cuts.
Additionally, the broad societal benefits of home care are undeniable. Home care is the glue that holds families and communities together by keeping the elderly, disabled and chronically-ill adults and children in their own homes, in familiar surroundings, supported by family and friends.
HCP urges the Legislature to consider carefully the fiscal and societal impact of home care cuts during budget negotiations to ensure that home care is accessible to New York’s most vulnerable.
Phyllis A. Wang
The writer is President of the New York State Association of Health Care Providers, Inc. (HCP), a statewide trade association representing the full spectrum of home and community-based providers.