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Idaho State of the State Holds Promise & Problems
Date:1/11/2010

AARP Urges Legislators Not to Balance Budget on Backs of Elderly & Work to Tackle Idaho's Worsening Health Care Crisis

Statement by Jim Wordelman AARP State Director for Idaho

BOISE, Idaho, Jan. 11 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today in his State of the State, Governor Otter laid out a broad road map for Idaho in the coming year - the address held both promise and problems.

The Governor's commitment of bring more doctors to Idaho to perform their residencies is a move in the right direction. Idaho has one of the lowest patient-to-physician ratios in the nation, especially for Medicare beneficiaries; today's announcement will help people across the state have better access to needed medical care.

AARP also commends the Governor for his budget recommendations of:

  • $250,000 to complete the Northern Idaho Aged and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) and for his commitment to expanding the project statewide to help Idahoans have a better long-term care system.
  • $38 million in new Medicaid funds and $71 million in Federal Medical Assistance Percentage, to help Idahoans, young and old, who've fallen on hard times, continue to have needed access to health care.

Budget cuts and holdbacks must not be unduly harsh and must be implemented responsibly and ensure that a no-growth budget does not mean a no-conscience budget. Many older Idahoans and families across the state have been forced to turn to programs and services for the basics like health care, access to prescription drugs and for the ability to remain in their homes and communities with dignity and avoid costly nursing home care. AARP urges Governor Otter and the Legislature to ensure this budget is not balanced on the backs of Idaho families and its frail elderly.

Idaho's looming health care crisis hit home for hundreds of thousands of people across the state in 2009
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SOURCE AARP Idaho
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