Yakima senior citizens sign petition for nursing home care - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima senior citizens sign petition for nursing home care

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YAKIMA, Wash.-- Some seniors and their caregivers signed a 10 foot petition urging lawmakers to protect Medicare and Medicaid funding for nursing home care Thursday.

Several dozen people were at the signing today, folks living at Landmark Care Center, their caregivers, and family members all hoping Congress will take notice and protect funds that help provide nursing home care.

The Coalition to Protect Senior Care is an organization that's working to make sure funding for the elderly is not cut.
They say on October 1st legislators will further reduce Medicare funding by 11%, amounting to $69 million in Washington state alone. Money that folks who rely on home care can't do without.

"When we reduce funding we're afraid that we will reduce things like caregivers, the number of staff all around, facility services, and more importantly, quality of care," said Rich Miller, President and CEO of the Washington Health Care Association.

They say with more funding cuts on the way, they hope legislators realize how many people rely on nursing home care.
Miller says between both Medicare and Medicaid cuts, 17,000 people may lose care, and more than $70 million in funding could be lost.