The cuts are expected to hit the disability community hard, in the areas of health care, medical assistance and reimbursements to hospitals. The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities is among the groups continuing to discuss the cuts and the impacts they will have.
Want to know more about the impact of cuts? Go to the mnccd.org home page and look for the “2009 Legislative Session Proposed Disability Services Related Cuts” tab. It is on the upper left side of the homer page and will be updated regularly. It contains a comprehensive list of the 2009 unallotment changes, and other state law changes, that affect persons with disabilities in Minnesota.
Some programs did see changes from numbers announced in early June. County mental health grants and community services block grants used by counties to cover health and human services cuts, took a bigger hit than originally anticipated. Other programs, including one for persons in treatment for methamphetamine addition, were spared.
Overall, health and human services were cut more than $200 million in 2010-2011, affecting numerous programs.
For example, personal care attendant (PCA) services took a $25 million cut. Limits to hours of work for PCA, cuts to those eligible for service and other changes will be felt. A $61.693 million cut will be felt in longterm community support services. Much of this money is matched by federal Medicaid dollars so that match is in jeopardy.
General Assistance Medical Coverage (GAMC) will end on March 1, 2010, affecting many people and the institutions that care for them. Suspension of development disability waiver allocations, elimination of chemical depending grants for some counties, elimination of emergency grants for low-income and disabled individuals, and reductions in dental care, occupational therapy, physical; therapy and speech therapy will also have an impact.
Unfortunately, the state may not be out of the woods yet. In a letter sent to state lawmakers in late June. State Office of Management and Budget Commissioner Tom Hanson said that the “imminent unallotment and administrative actions are not taken lightly.” And he warned that the state could be facing even greater deficits in the future. A $2.7 billion gap between anticipated revenues and expenditures for the next budget cycle could be followed in fiscal 2012-13 by a larger deficit of $4.426 billion.