AARP Mississippi Demonstrates for More HCBS Funding
Hundreds of AARP Mississippi members participated in a demonstration at the state capitol building on March 27 for increased funding for home and community-based services (HCBS).
The 200-plus demonstrators urged Governor Phil Bryant (R) and state legislators to commit more money to such services, which allow elders and people with disabilities to receive care in their own homes and communities rather than in nursing homes.
Last year, former governor Haley Barbour (R) had pledged to use the state’s entire Medicaid budget surplus, then estimated to be $42 million, to fund HCBS. The actual surplus turned out to be $32 million.
Bryant, however, decided to devote just $16 million of that money to HCBS, with the rest going to education and mental health services.
AARP Mississippi State Director Sherri Davis-Garner told the Clarion-Ledger that AARP simply wants the state to “deliver on [its] promise of another $16 million.”
Davis-Garner noted that because nursing home care is far more expensive than home care, greater funding for HCBS would save the state money in the long run.
— by Matthew Ozga