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Programs for the disabled are among the first to go, when states trim their budgets. This puts a lot of people in danger across the country.


Now, families and advocates say Pennsylvania is withdrawing the hand and replacing it with a shove toward unemployment and full-time dependence on relatives or institutions.

They accuse Gov. Tom Corbett of breaking his campaign promise to protect the state’s most vulnerable residents.

- In my state, too:

Possible funding cuts by the state could have a huge impact on thousands of mentally challenged adults and their families across Alabama.

If the state decides to cut funding to the group homes where they live, some of them could be put on the streets.

 "If my brother doesn't have a place to live what will become of him?"

- In Idaho they're suing over Medicaid cuts:

BOISE, Idaho -- Twelve severely disabled Idaho residents are suing the state after the Department of Health and Welfare refused to disclose why it cut their Medicaid benefits by as much as 40 percent.

The plaintiffs are represented by Idaho Legal Aid attorney Ritchie Eppink, who describes his clients as Idaho's most vulnerable residents. All of them need supervision - some require 24-hour care - and all have multiple medical or mental health problems or developmental disabilities. They also all recently had their Medicaid benefits cut under a formula the state says it can't reveal, according to the lawsuit.

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare says the formula is a trade secret.

- And in Maine there's an effort to cut Medicare:
Gov. Paul LePage has continued the push to cut Medicaid in an effort to close a projected shortfall in the state Department of Health and Human Services’ budget, and denounced a plan from the Maine Legislature’s Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee this week.

Despite public outcry from voters and this new proposal from the appropriations committee, LePage is determined to make deep cuts to the state’s program – known here as MaineCare – by $221 million.

- Unions are suing:
Service Employees International Union 775 Healthcare is headed back to court in a dispute with the state over its reduction in home-care aid for certain Medicaid clients who are disabled or elderly.

The Department of Social and Health Services denies it is cutting hours. The agency says it has “redistributed” hours among eligible clients in order to work within its budget and live up to court orders related to previous lawsuits.

The union filed its latest action in Thurston County Superior Court last week, claiming the state illegally reduced home-care service hours available to clients with shared or live-in caregivers. The suit also contends that some care workers, who provide clients help with their cleaning, cooking and shopping, now are unable to work enough hours to qualify for state subsidized health-care benefits.

- In California, it's in court as well:
A federal judge on Thursday continued to block the state from reducing in-home care to low-income disabled and elderly residents, a budget cut pursued last year by Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers.

The reduction would have slashed one-fifth of service hours for In-Home Supportive Services recipients to save the state $100 million over the next six months.

Added to this is the fact that state governments are cutting funding for HIV/AIDS treatments, research and for housing. These are bad times.

This is an open thread as I'm dealing with some health issues and some depression/lack of motivation today. Hope you're all doing well.

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