ADvantage Waiver Potential Victim of State Budget Crisis
One of the programs that will be cut by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services if the budget gap is not filled is the ADvantage Waiver Program. If the legislature does not act, the state funding and program will be eliminated effective December 1, 2017.
The funding loss for this program is $36.44M. The Advantage Waiver Program serves an estimated 21,147 seniors and persons with disabilities. This program helps frail seniors and adults with disabilities to live at home with support and delays nursing home facilities or similar types of adult care.
This program has a large impact across the state. It is estimated that half of the people served might need nursing home placements at a higher cost to the state. Oklahoma already has a shortage of nursing home beds. Approximately 450 provider entities would be impacted by the elimination of this program, including the Village at Oakwood, a low income housing tax credit development in south Oklahoma City.
If the Legislature does not approve new revenues in special session, the consequence will be unimaginable cuts to health care and other protections for our state’s most vulnerable citizens. On November 6th, the Senate passed HB 1035 on a bipartisan vote of 37-5, which surpassed the 3/4 requirement for revenue bills. On November 8th, the House took up an identical measure, HB 1054. The vote was 71-27 – short of the 3/4 supermajority needed to pass revenue bills. HB 1054 was held on a motion to reconsider, which means it can be brought up for another vote no later than November 13th. What you can do:
· Find out how your legislator voted on HB 1054 and contact them today to say ‘thank you’ or express why you are disappointed by their vote.
· Contact the Representatives who voted No and urge them to change their vote if HB 1054 is brought back to the House floor.
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