State Senator Kevin Kelly Advocates for Aging Committee’s Ability to Achieve Savings and Better Care for Seniors

April 1, 2011
State Senator Kevin Kelley testifies before the Appropriations Committee’s March 31st public hearing

State Senator Kevin Kelley testifies before the Appropriations Committee’s March 31st public hearing

Hartford – Yesterday, State Senator Kevin Kelly (R-21) testified before the General Assembly Appropriations Committee to amend a proposal in order to establish increased oversight on matters pertaining to Connecticut’s senior population.

Raised House Bill 6519, An Act Concerning Medicaid Savings, would require a study of the state Medicaid program to indentify any means by which the state may achieve savings in said program. Once completed a report will be produced and presented before particular standing committees of the General Assembly.

Senator Kelly supports the proposed bill but would like it amended to include the Aging Committee on the list of those reported to.

“The General Assembly’s Aging Committee is now a full standing committee and has cognizance over the needs of our state’s seniors, who actually make up the largest percentage of Medicaid recipients,” said Senator Kelly. “By having access to such a report, the committee can weigh in on proposed savings and their effect on the elderly.

Medicaid funds both home care and long-term care nursing home programs. HB 6519 would look at such programs and scrutinize allocated funding.

“It is also important to note that members of the committee have the knowledge and ability to add to the report by explaining the financial benefits of rebalancing the state’s long-term care dollars,” stated Senator Kelly. “Experience shows that most individuals do not want to go to a nursing home, and that home care is more cost effective and arguably better care.”

It costs the state Medicaid program about $8,500 per person per month for nursing home care, and $2,500 per person per month for home care.

Senator Kelly went on to advocate for seniors and potential savings by saying, “It would appear that allowing people to ‘age in place’ in the comfort of their home is a good savings and should be supported. After all, isn’t the goal moving forward to cut state spending while maintaining our quality of life?”