MA Budget Cuts Hit Senior Care Services

As the state faces a $540 million budget shortfall, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick has proposed $250 million worth of mid-year budget cuts. More than half would hit services for seniors.

The cuts total $128 million from the state’s budget for nursing homes and other organizations providing services to seniors. Al Norman, executive director of Mass Home Care, says home care services were not on the chopping block during the current round of mid-year cuts, also known as 9-C cuts. He says he’s more worried about the effects of the so-called “fiscal cliff” and future state cuts if revenues for the year continue to fall short of projections.

“We could be right back in the same situation next month if revenues continue to fall,” he says. “We’re going to have more 9-C cuts coming. Eventually the list is going to include us.”

Norman says his organization has faced state budget cuts over the last three years. 

“At this point, when you get another 9-C cut, it’s like after you’ve been punched around so many times, you don’t feel it anymore.”

The governor warned earlier this week the state could face an additional $300 million revenue shortfall if congress and President Obama fail to reach a deal by the end of the year on the so-called “fiscal cliff.”