KWA Joins Long-Term Care Coalition to Protect Washington’s Most Vulnerable

June 30, 2020

Proposed COVID-19 budget cuts would devastate seniors and people with disabilities

Long Term Care Coalition

(Olympia, WA) – KWA joins the Coalition of Long-Term Care advocates, assembled in response to recent budget reduction exercises that propose significant cuts to critical services that support Washington’s seniors and people with disabilities. Assisting the states most vulnerable populations is at the heart of services provided by KWA. 

This broad and diverse coalition has come together with a unified voice to object these devastating cuts, in which 1 and 3 current service recipients will lose the care they need to survive. 

To address the state budget shortfall caused by the economic repercussions of COVID-19, state agencies submitted detailed proposals to cut each state program by fifteen percent. Under those proposals, 

20,000 seniors and people with disabilities will be left without the life-saving services they need. 

Pete Ansara, KWA CEO is proud to join the Coalition. “To deprive the most vulnerable in our state of life-saving services in a time like this is deplorable. We stand with the Coalition with pride to fight for those who need us, those who depend on in-home care services,” says Ansara. 

“These cuts would limit options and supports, making it harder for seniors to age in place and would exacerbate the long waiting list for services currently faced by people with developmental or intellectual disabilities. Vulnerable adults served through these programs would experience less support and fewer options to remain at home amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.”

AARP Washington 

Dan Murphy with the Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging worries about what will happen to people if they lose long-term care services. “People turn to Washington’s Medicaid Long-Term Care system as a last resort, after they have exhausted all other options. Removing their last resort for support would be a disaster.” 

“I’m trying to get my caregivers a decent living wage, while also staying afloat myself. 

This is shameful to even consider cutting our pay.”

Erika, professional caregiver 

“This isn’t right. My facility will not survive with these cuts, and it will make it even harder for me to hire caregivers and provide appropriate care for my residents.”

Margaret, facility administrator 

Cuts today will have a ripple effect that will impact services for years to come, including increasing the cost burdens in other state health programs. 

The Long-term Care Coalition invites all Washingtonians to join us in objecting to reducing critical services to those most impacted by this pandemic. We encourage lawmakers and budget writers to protect our most vulnerable populations. 

The Long-Term Care Coalition: Protecting the Health Washington’s Most Vulnerable includes: 

  1. AARP 
  2. Adult Family Home Council 
  3. Casa Latina 
  4. Catholic Community Services 
  5. Consumer Direct Care Network Washington 
  6. Korean Women’s Association 
  7. LeadingAge Washington 
  8. National MS Society 
  9. Office of Developmental Disabilities Ombuds 
  10. Puget Sound Advocates for Retirement Action 
  11. SEIU 775 
  12. Washington Association of Area Agencies on Aging 
  13. Washington State Senior Citizen’s Lobby 
  14. Washington Health Care Association 
  15. Washington Home Care Coalition