Leaders of the Michigan Caring Majority coalition celebrated a 5% increase in funding for the MI Choice Waiver Program in the state budget signed by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. The program within Medicaid enables people who qualify for nursing home level of care to receive care in their own home. MI Choice is a person-centered program, allowing participants to choose where and from whom they receive their care. On its path through the legislature, it earned bipartisan support from State representatives Rep. Jon Hoadley (D-60 Kalamazoo), Mary Whiteford (R 80-Holland) and Sen. MacGregor (R 28-Rockford).
“The MI Choice program is an important asset that helps support seniors in their homes and local communities throughout Michigan,” said David LaLumia, Executive Director of the Area Agencies Association of Michigan. “Area Agencies on Aging thank the Legislature and the Governor for supporting an investment in reducing waiting lists for these essential services.”
Rep. Hoadley, described MI Caring Majority caucus that shepherded this victory as “a bipartisan caucus of legislators who care about aging issues, who care about access to long term care benefits, folks who care about making sure we can take care of those who took care of us,” said Hoadley. “This win sets us up for a huge opportunity to put Michigan at the forefront on the caring economy and benefits that we know we’ll need to make sure everyone in the state gets the care they deserve.”
“I know first hand how important the MI Choice Waiver Program is,” said Shylah Outlaw, a current recipient of MI Choice services. “It gives me back my independence and makes me feel human again. With the help of my aide, I am able to get to doctor’s appointments, but also stay active and connected with friends and family by getting out and about in the community, and attending events like the local Jazz Festival.”
(Audio from the tele-press conference can be downloaded HERE)