Last Wednesday,  Gov. Dannel Malloy released his budget proposal for the biennium and again he is targeting Connecticut’s nursing home residents who rely on Medicaid and a personal needs allowance (PNA) to provide for the extras they need to maintain their quality of life.

In Malloy’s 2011 budget the PNA was cut from $69 to $60 a month and this budget proposes to reduce it further to only $50 a month.

When a monthly haircut can be $10 to $20, a basic cell phone can cost $30, an occasional pizza order $15, and body wash, shampoo, toothpaste between $3 and $5; how are we expected to maintain a decent quality of life with only $50 a month?

This proposed reduction would take the PNA back to a level not seen since 1998, adjusted for inflation the $50 in 1998 would need to be $73 in 2015.

As the only resident group in Connecticut that every year is asked to turn over its annual Social Security increases as cost of the care, the state has already saved over $19 million dollars in Medicaid spending.  Do we really need to be asked to sacrifice again?

We urge the legislature to pass a budget without a reduction to the PNA for residents of Connecticut’s nursing homes.

Brian Capshaw is the resident council president of the Greensprings Healthcare and Rehabilitation Center in East Hartford. 

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