SCHAUMBURG, Ill. – State Rep. Michelle Mussman is opposing efforts to remove 40,000 Illinois seniors from a program that allows them to stay in their homes and out of institutional care. Governor Bruce Rauner, through the Department on Aging, would end homecare services for many vulnerable seniors by removing them from the Community Care Program, and instead forcing them to rely on a new and untested program the Governor has titled the Community Reinvestment Program (CRP).
Governor Rauner has begun the process to end homecare for 40,000 seniors currently under the Community Care Program by filing his draft rules, creating the untested CRP program. Under Rauner’s proposed rules, current regulations that require caregivers to undergo criminal background checks would be removed. Under the current program, companies are carefully screened to confirm they do not have a history of fraud and employees that interact with seniors have no criminal or sexual convictions.
“Governor Rauner is moving down a path that will harm our seniors,” Mussman said. “These actions will remove nutritional requirements for Meals on Wheels, eliminate criminal background checks for service providers, while telling 40,000 seniors that the services that help them stay in their homes are in jeopardy.”
Senior advocates including AARP and the Illinois Association of Community Care Program Homecare Providers have expressed concern that CRP lacks the standards and requirements that are critical to seniors’ health and security, while creating new layers of government bureaucracy.
“The Department on Aging’s proposed Community Reinvestment Program is a cost cutting, political tactic at the expense of over 40,000 of Illinois most vulnerable senior citizens, and their loved ones,” said Ryan Gruenenfelder, Illinois Director of Advocacy AARP. “The proposed program hinges on service availability by geographic regions, on the continuation of budget appropriations, and the sole authority of the Department to amend eligibility standards with zero legislative oversight. The proposed program is a catalyst for seniors to face premature nursing home placement. Our state can implement common sense, compassionate and cost-effective reforms to maintain our state’s current Community Care Program without jeopardizing the lives and well-being of thousands of Illinois’ greatest generation.”
Mussman serves the 56th District, which includes portions of Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Roselle, Rolling Meadows, and Palatine.