The West Virginia House and Senate have come to a balanced budget without making any tax increases, but they have made huge cuts. Those cuts include some to Medicaid which could impact seniors and disabled people.
As a senior citizen, Carl Meadows, feels he is being shorted by the state if they proceed with cutting $48 million from Medicaid. “How would you feel if you worked all your life then you take everything away from you?” said Meadows.
Every week Meadows goes to the Raleigh County Commission on Aging and he’s entertained by all they offer. From the gym facility, to meeting new friends, Meadows appreciates it all. “You fellowship with all these people and they’re talking about cutting everything out, that’s wrong,” said Meadows.
It’s not just the programs they’re nervous about losing, but the cuts would also cut into the revenue they receive to keep the commission open. The cuts could shut the commission down for good.
“They’re critical services,” said Executive Director for the Raleigh County Commission on Aging, Jack Tanner.
As a part of the Commission for over a decade, Tanner said cutting millions from Medicaid would be cutting out our seniors. “If that is taken there will be an extreme amount of suffering,” said Tanner.
Medicaid provides funding to the elderly and disabled people to help take care of them and give them the appropriate medical attention they need through the wavier program. With these cuts the wavier program could be gone. “These individuals will have to go into a nursing care or they’re going to be home and abandoned,” said Tanner.
Not only could this hurt the seniors, but it will hurt the economy by taking away jobs. Tanner said he hopes lawmakers will reconsider these cuts. “We have to find some other way, the level of suffering that this would create is unimaginable,” said Tanner.