The new year has brought a number of changes to our healthcare system and is projected to make many more in the coming months. In an effort to control the state budget, many lawmakers are attempting to find ways in which to decrease spending in order to get out of the major defect they have incurred over the past few years.
One of those states is Massachusetts, where, Governor Baker, is attempting to reduce their budget by cutting nearly $100 million dollars in funding for a number of organizations. This budget cut was cited as an adjustment due to lagging state revenues, which need to be counterbalanced. The organizations most affected by the cuts include HIV treatment centers, opioid abuse relief centers that assist many citizens of the state in dealing with the drug problem that has run rampant through the city, as well as other elder care organizations.
The majority of the funding to be cut will come from programs in charge of assistance in paying for long term care, nurse visits, as well as other specialists. This ultimately affects the demographic of aging people who seek to age in place and receive care in their home as their health declines.
The issue here is that when funding is cut, elderly people are forced to move to nursing homes since government programs will only cover care in those facilities, which ultimately costs the state more money, and is not the desire of the elderly individual. The wishes of the elderly individual are ignored and force them to make changes they have not had to make, sometimes for their entire life. Currently, Massachusetts home care system provided by the state services 45,000 elderly individuals, one of the largest in the country. Thus, these changes will greatly impact the wellbeing of those who reside in the state.
Critics of the cuts cite political influence for funding cut decisions, saying that although they have worked hard to reduce the diagnoses and help management diseases such as HIV as well as help with opioid addiction, since theses numbers have shrunk, the state is looking to these programs to cut funding.
However, the individuals still affected by the diseases stand to lose their treatment and in return could spread the disease as a result. These organizations will have to seek private company assistance in an effort to make up for the loss suffered by the budget cuts.