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National Front Line Caregiver Group Urges Senate Leaders to Support Grassley Amendment Protecting Seniors' Care, Assuring Stability of Nation's Long Term Care Workforce
Date:2/5/2009

JOPLIN, Mo., Feb. 5 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a new letter sent today to the U.S. Senate Leadership and the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee, the Coalition to Protect Senior Care (CPSC) urged support for the Grassley Amendment to the pending economic stimulus bill, S.1. The Grassley provision stipulates a state shall not be eligible for state Medicaid funds as part of the broader bill if the state cuts seniors' eligibility standards, or reduces provider payments -- which would negatively impact the overall mission and capacity of the nation's long term care workforce.

In the letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Senate Finance Chairman Max Baucus (D-MT) and Ranking Member Charles Grassley (R-IA), Lori Porter, a national spokesperson for CPSC, states, "We are pleased that this economic stimulus package recognizes the need to increase funding to our states by providing $87 billion for Medicaid nationwide. But while that funding might appear on the surface to be just what the nation's elderly need, it fails to recognize one important factor: Congress is providing this funding to states but is not asking the states how they are going to spend it. The Grassley Amendment will go a long way to help prevent states from shifting the money out of the Medicaid program, or from cutting current spending levels."

Continued Porter, "Direct care workers in the nation's nursing homes experience every day the needs of the nation's most vulnerable population -- the sick and frail elderly and disabled. Too often though, they already struggle because of a lack of funding from the very Medicaid program designed to serve as a safety net for the sick and poor."

Porter explained that Medicaid programs in the United States are already stretched to the limit -- and that objective studies find skilled nursing care alone is underfunded by over $
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SOURCE Coalition to Protect Senior Care
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