HARRISBURG, Pa., Feb. 5, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- AARP Pennsylvania today said that while Governor Corbett's 2013-14 budget proposal released today increases state spending for programs helping older adults remain at home, the plan lacks forward-looking solutions to other issues of interest to the nation's fourth-largest senior population.
More Money for Home and Community-Based Care, But Continued Raid of Lottery FundsOn one hand, AARP Pennsylvania Advocacy Director Ray Landis applauded the Governor's decision to commit an additional $50 million to lottery-funded programs that have been neglected for years and have developed waiting lists for services.
"Dedicating $50 million in new revenues for home and community-based programs for seniors represents an important first step towards improving the balance between nursing home care and less expensive alternatives that allow older adults to remain at home," he said.
Landis reiterated that AARP neither supports nor opposes the concept of private management of the Pennsylvania Lottery. Whether additional revenues are made available through a private management firm or through the efforts of existing lottery employees, AARP's interests are based solely on ensuring that any changes maximize revenues available to existing lottery-funded programs that provide essential assistance to older adults statewide.Unfortunately, the Governor's budget proposal also continues the disturbing trend of raiding the Lottery Fund to fill holes in the state Medicaid budget. The Governor's budget recommends shifting another $309 million in lottery proceeds in 2013-14 to the state Medicaid budget. Including this year's proposal, more than $1.3 billion in lottery proceeds will have been transferred to the Medicaid program over the last six years. "AARP continues to believe that Medicaid nursing home expenses should return to the General Fund so the Lottery Fund can fulfill its intended purpose—providing essential assistance to help older adults remain at home," he said.