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Bay State Budget Update

July 1 marks the start of Fiscal Year 2012. As lawmakers finalize the state budget, our top priority is to ensure that important programs serving frail and vulnerable Massachusetts seniors are protected.

What’s at stake?

Adult Day Health Services – A proposed $55 million cut to adult day health services would decimate the program and leave 11,000 of our state's most frail and vulnerable seniors without the help they count on to stay in their homes and out of more costly institutional care.

Elder Protective Services – Elder abuse includes physical, emotional and sexual abuse, neglect by a caregiver, self-neglect and financial exploitation. Administered by The Executive Office of Elder Affairs, Elder Protective Services is a statewide system for receiving and investigating reports of elder abuse, and for providing needed services to abused elders when warranted. Also part of protective services: the Massachusetts Money Management Program, cosponsored by the AARP Foundation, Mass Home Care, and the Executive Office of Elder Affairs.

Rx Affordability

Thanks to the federal health care law, Prescription Advantage will be maintained, despite a $10 million cut in state support. The federal law is closing the Medicare prescription drug coverage gap, the dreaded “doughnut hole,” which impacts many who count on Prescription Advantage.

AARP is also fighting the repeal of the prescription drug gift ban – which restricts drug company marketing practices. We believe the cost of free lunches and other perks for prescribers should not be footed by consumers who are struggling to afford their medication.

Health Care Affordability – MassHealth

AARP opposes the proposal to eliminate prescription drug coverage as part of the minimum health care coverage standards.

We are calling for restoration of the MassHealth enrollment and outreach grants – designed to help consumers navigate the complex health care system.

We are calling for the restoration of dental benefits to adults in MassHealth, because good oral health is part of overall health.

Stay up to date on the latest state advocacy news. Read our daily blog, visit our Facebook page, and follow the news on Twitter.

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