- Governor Greitens and The Missouri General Assembly
- United States of America
The Missouri General Assembly is currently debating which programs and projects will be funded in the 2018 budget. Missouri seniors have a lot at stake this year because of the budget crunch and possible reduction or elimination of vital programs.
Missouri’s seniors and their care givers rely on essential services, programs and information from the 10 Area Agencies on Aging to stay active and healthy and live safely and independently. These programs include home-delivered meals, ombudsman services, the local senior centers, disease prevention and health promotion, transportation, in-home services and public benefits counseling. Also being debated are existing MORx prescription drug benefits, Circuit Breaker property tax credits and Medicaid eligibility benefits that are lifelines for seniors who live on the financial edge.
Senior funding is now $1.2 million below the 2008 funding level. Yet, the need for services continues to grow as the population ages. Particularly hard hit are low income seniors and the disabled. Today, nearly 400,000 Missouri seniors rely on social security for 90 percent of their annual income. This means that for every three seniors who may cross your path on any given day, one is struggling to meet the most basic needs—food, medicine, housing and transportation.
They are our friends, neighbors, family members, former co-workers and citizens who have contributed a lifetime to our communities.
No one understands tight budgets better than Missouri’s seniors. We believe investing in senior programs is a smart move that will save the taxpayers millions of dollars. Consider that in 2017 dollars, it will cost the Missouri taxpayer $53,000 for ONE senior to stay ONE year in a skilled Medicaid facility. That same senior, with access to Area Agency on Aging senior services, could live safely and comfortably at home for $18,000.
Senior programs are a wise investment and the right thing to do.
• Full state funding for the Area Agencies on Aging
• Preservation of MORx prescription drug benefits for 60,000 seniors
• Preservation of Circuit Breaker property tax credits for renters and homeowners to keep seniors in their homes
• No change to Medicaid eligibility criteria that would make it more difficult for the poorest and disabled to qualify for care
• Creation of the Senior Services Growth and Development Program, providing a dedicated, stable source of funding for senior programs from a percentage of the premium tax on insurance.
Thank you for putting Missouri’s seniors first.