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Advocate,

If you missed today's political and field update webinar, you can catch up on the latest budget news by watching the recording (sound and video). Hear AOF Co-Chairs Margaret Hulbert and Gayle Channing Tenenbaum, Central Ohio AAA director Cindy Farson, and Nora Nees from Second Harvest Foodbanks talk about the need for additional resources for health, human service, and early care & education programs.

In particular, you will hear Cindy talk about how the Governor's bold policy ideas for rebalancing long-term care in Ohio simply aren't backed up by adequate funding to truly move the needle from institutional care to home- and community-based care. The biennial budget proposes to expand the number of PASSPORT waivers by 15%. But at the same time, the Area Agencies on Aging -- which identify and enroll seniors in the program and design their care plans -- face steep cuts, as do the care plans themselves and the rates for providers of those services. If the infrastructure to support PASSPORT is allowed to crumble, then more seniors will be driven into nursing facilities who could remain independent -- at one-third the cost.

At our news conference last week, Jayney Wooley shared her and her mother's story with Advocates for Ohio's Future and the media. We wanted to share it with you today:

Jayney’s family has received support and assistance from the PASSPORT program for the past few years. She learned about PASSORT after her 91-year-old mother broke her hip and could no longer live alone. A nursing home was not an appropriate alternative. Instead, the services her mother receives through PASSPORT allow Jayney to continue working and know that her mother is safe and happy at home. Without PASSPORT, Jayney does not know how she would be able take care of her mother. Perhaps the greatest benefit, Jayney says, is peace of mind. When Jayney is at work, she doesn’t worry about her mother’s quality of care. A relationship has developed between the caregivers and her mother that they all agree comes as close to family as possible. 

Watch Jayney tell her story on YouTube.

Advocates for Ohio's Future needs your help to share the stories of real people, like Jayney's, and raise the voice of struggling Ohioans.

Will you call your senator and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Chris Widener (614-466-3780) and send the following urgent message?

  • I support rebalancing Medicaid long-term care so that more seniors can choose home- and community-based services when they do not require expensive nursing home care. However, while more PASSPORT waivers will be available, deep cuts in the amount of service those on waivers can receive in their homes are recommended, combined with cuts to the AAAs that manage the care, plus cuts to provider rates. These cuts would cripple the capacity of the program, drive more people into expensive nursing care, and leave many of the new waivers unused.
  • Any new revenue identified during the budget process must be prioritized for health, human service, and early care & education programs.

Again, if you don’t know who your senator is or how to contact him or her, click on this link. You may search for your senator by name, district number, or zip code on the bottom left corner of the Ohio Senate home page.

Prefer to send an email rather than call? Click here to email your senator and Senator Widener.

Finally, if you want to stay on our mailing list but opt out of the daily messages this week, just click here.

Thank you for being an advocate!

Will Petrik, Outreach Director

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