I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
Over the last couple of weeks I have been in different parts of the State for various reasons talking with many people from even more parts of the State. The one thing that I have found is that there are three common questions when it comes to individuals with disabilities and the current State Budget proposal eliminating IRIS and making significant changes to Family Care.
In the next couple of days, Joint Finance will be voting on the State Budget. There are obviously 2 outcomes on the elimination of the IRIS Program and the significant changes to Family Care. It will either remain in the Budget of they will vote to take it out. One thing to remember is that this is the recommendation of the 16 members of Joint Finance, not the entire Legislature.
I have some random thoughts when it comes to the proposed significant changes to IRIS and Family Care in the State Budget.
Now that the Joint Finance Hearings are complete, now comes the real advocacy time. The time when self advocates, their friends and families and support workers need to keep contacting their State Representatives and let them know that the way Long-Term Care is working for them.
Going from Being the Gold Standard to a Follower: What Long-Term Care in Wisconsin Could Look Like in the Very Near Future
When asked how they would like to see their Long Term Care system be modeled after, the Kansas Development Disability Council advised they want a model like Wisconsin. Sadly, the State of Kansas chose a model that Wisconsin may soon look like. The model Kansas chose, lost $110 million in 2013 and another $73 million in the first half of 2014. What is most disturbing is that despite the losses, the 3 HMO’s that oversee the program requested $40 million in performance bonuses. That’s right, lose $110 million dollars and then ask for a $40 million dollar performance bonus. All of this money is tax payer money.