Disability Groups To Lobby Against Planned Changes To Long-Term Care Programs

Budget Would Change Programs Like IRIS, Family Care

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Organizers say turnout at this year’s advocacy day for people with disabilities is expected to be larger than usual, due to widespread concern over the governor’s proposed budget.

Wisconsin’s long term care system, which includes programs like Family Care and IRIS that keep the elderly and persons with disabilities out of nursing homes, could be in for big changes under the budget plan. Walker’s budget allows state health officials to make significant changes to the Family Care benefits package and combines primary and long-term care.

Beth Swedeen is a chairwoman of the Survival Coalition, a statewide group of disability organizations. She said the changes could spell the end of aging and disability resource centers in counties across the state.

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“It’s really unclear what the budget proposal would mean in the long-term, and I think that’s the reason so many people are coming out to ask questions of their legislators,” said Swedeen.

Swedeen says as many as 700 people are expected to lobby lawmakers on Tuesday.