To the editor:
In the May 23 "Medicaid recipients wary of proposed reductions" article, Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, seemed to attribute Medicaid's budget problem to Area Agencies on Aging. She indicated that area agencies were "advising senior citizens on how to spend down their assets so they can be on Medicaid."
I wish to set the record straight: Area Agencies on Aging do not advise seniors to "beat the system" to become eligible for Medicaid, and we absolutely support families in their role as caregivers for older relatives.
Area Agencies on Aging believe if a senior has resources, these resources should be used to pay for the care needed. Most Kansans already use their resources to pay for their long-term care before they look to government-funded programs.
Families are essential when an older Kansan has health needs, and family caregivers are the health system backbone. Area Agencies on Aging place a high priority on our work with the families in supporting and encouraging them as they provide care. Eighty percent of all the care needed by older Kansans is provided by family members or caring friends.
Yet not every senior has family or another caring person to help. Sometimes services that are provided with government funds are the only option. And, in these cases, Area Agencies on Aging do everything possible to ensure the needs of seniors are met while maximizing taxpayer dollars.
Kansas Area Agencies
on Aging Assn.