St. Paul, Minn. – Sen. Kent Eken (DFL-Twin Valley) was joined by State House and Senate members from both parties to announce a plan to increase funding for nursing homes and senior home care services in Minnesota. They were joined by supporters from the Long-term Care Imperative and SEIU Health Care Minnesota, UFCW, United Steelworkers, AFSCME Council 5, and the AARP to talk about the critical need for policymakers to address the long-term care crisis in Minnesota.
“Today, we are proposing a bill that would take a significant step toward addressing the chronic under funding of senior care services by providing up to a 5% increase to nursing homes and Elderly Waiver providers for each year of the biennium,” said Sen. Eken.
Nursing home rates have been frozen for the past four years and the Elderly Waiver program has been cut by double digits over that same time frame. “After years of deep cuts, I look forward to working with colleagues from both parties to truly support our seniors and their caregivers this year,” said Rep. Patti Fritz (DFL-Faribault). “Care givers and care facilities are desperately under-funded. It is up to us to invest in these services so that these facilities and workers have the resources they need to get the job done. As a state, we need to be prepared for the impending age wave.”
“Aging is not a partisan issue, and the best way to meet the needs of our seniors is to invest now and make Senior care a real priority,” said Rep. Rod Hamilton (R-Mountain Lake).
“Minnesota’s nursing homes and assisted living settings support over 112,000 jobs in Minnesota and infuse $6.7 billion into Minnesota’s economy each year,” added Sen. Julie Rosen (R-Fairmont). “An investment in senior care is an investment in a growth sector of Minnesota’s economy.”
The bipartisan working group will collaborate with the Governor and Legislative leaders to support funding for nursing homes and the Elderly Waiver program. “With this legislation we can we can care for our seniors in a way that honors their contribution to the state and nation while giving them an opportunity to grow old with dignity and independence.” concluded Eken.