Illinois governor again rejects elderly home care plan

Nursing home. (WICS File Photo)

Gov. Bruce Rauner has again vetoed plans to prevent changes his administration want to make to in-home services aimed at keeping elderly Illinois residents out of nursing homes.

The Republican issued a veto message on Friday, saying the bill would reduce the ability "to assess and serve Illinois' elderly and persons with disabilities."

However, advocates of the proposal say changing in-home services could result in more expensive nursing home care. The plan would've put eligibility standards Rauner wants changed into law.

Roughly 36,000 Illinoisans age 60 and older are enrolled in the Community Care Program. Among other changes, Rauner wants to implement another option called the Community Reinvestment Program he says would better serve seniors and provide more flexibility.

Rauner has previously blocked similar plans.

The following statement was released by Terri Harkin, Director, SEIU Healthcare Illinois Home Care Division and the Illinois Alliance for Retired Americans, in response to the veto of House Bill 1424 by Gov. Bruce Rauner:

With today’s veto of House Bill 1424, Gov. Rauner has once again demonstrated his complete lack of empathy, compassion and concern for some of the most vulnerable in our communities. His veto of the bill continues the path of destruction to human services for children, seniors and people with disabilities launched when he first took office.
HB 1424 protected the 80,000 seniors in the Community Care Program from massive cuts, reductions in care, and a full-scale dismantling of the program by the governor. Instead of a successful program that has existed for years, the governor has proposed herding this group of seniors into an unproven and untested patchwork system that included subjecting seniors to Uber vouchers, food coupons and maid services.
Even more revealing of the governor’s contempt is his choice to veto the bill during the holiday season when citizens are celebrating and counting their blessing over the year. We, along with our allies who fight to protect seniors and the legislators who passed HB 1424, hoped that Rauner would see the light after the outcry from seniors over the proposed changes to the Community Care Program.
Unfortunately, Rauner is hellbent on moving an agenda that has done nothing but proven his failure as a leader.
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