Normally this time of year we do a lot of posting on the state budget. It’s not that the state budget isn’t in the news, but it isn’t clear whether/how Streator Unlimited’s services could be affected. The state already cut all grant funding, so that no longer hangs in the balance, vulnerable to reductions or elimination (did we think we’d ever miss those days?). What remains is state Medicaid Waiver funding. This receives federal match dollars, so has federal rules attached to it, and so is more difficult to cut. Due to the new health care laws, the state cannot eliminate anyone’s funding for the next few years without losing significant federal dollars for all of the Medicaid program.
What the state could do is reduce the funding rates for SU and other community providers. This is a possibility, given the plan to cut a lot of Medicaid spending in the state. So far we haven’t seen a rate cut as part of a specific plan. This may be due to the fact that community providers have been cut so hard in recent years that we simply can’t handle more and be able to deliver decent services. It may also be because the state is closing institutions that house people with developmental disabilities and needs community providers to be able to serve them. Even so, the state doesn’t have enough resources to go around and will have to make cuts somewhere. We’ll be watching closely these next two weeks.