The Budget Cannot Be Balanced on the Backs of Persons with Disabilities.
Governor Scott Walker’s State of the Union message on Tuesday did not provide enough detail to predict a specific impact on persons with disabilities in Wisconsin. However, one thing is for sure: significant cuts to the state’s Medicaid or long term care investments would mean unprecedented changes in quality of life for our state’s most vulnerable citizens.
Disability Rights Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities recognize the governor’s promises on the campaign trail and support for disability services as Milwaukee County Executive as a commitment to persons with disabilities.
But we must ensure this commitment by sharing the facts about the vital services supporting families raising young children with complex medical needs; youth with disabilities leaving school and seeking a path to real work instead of public assistance; and adults with disabilities who should not be forced into institutions or live in crisis on waiting lists.
Currently there are 1.1 million Wisconsin residents who rely on Medicaid for vital services and more than 30,000 elders and persons with disabilities who use long term care services through programs like IRIS and Family Care. Wisconsin’s compassionate and thoughtful set of community-based long term care services and supports are not merely entitlement programs to the thousands of people who depend on extra help daily with bathing, dressing, medications, work and transportation – they are a lifeline that we all would expect and hope for if a loved one suddenly acquired a disability. [See the full press release.]