The JFC leaders who made the announcement include: Rep. Dean Knudson, Senator Leah Vukmir, and JFC Co-Chairs Rep. John Nygren and Sen Alberta Darling.
The Governor’s proposed budget would have expand the Family Care program to all 72 counties in the state.
However, the proposed budget would also have made sweeping changes to the delivery of the Family Care program and eliminated the IRIS program . Advocates for people with disabilities and older adults raised significant concerns that the proposed expansion program will be a pared down version of the current Family Care program. Under the proposed budget, administration of Family Care would have been restructured from a regionalized, not-for-profit system to a statewide system open to for-profit insurers. In addition, current IRIS participants would not have had the same authority and flexibility to self-direct their care under the newly proposed Family Care model.
The JFC leaders' announcement outlines how the committee will amend the Governor's proposal. Rather than a dramatic overhaul of the entire long-term care system, the committee will likely approve a more modest approach that guarantees input from all relevant stakeholders. One of the main criticisms from advocates about the Governor's proposal was that key stakeholders were not consulted about the dramatic changes proposed by the Governor. The JFC will also require that ADRC services be preserved and that the JFC must give the Wisconsin Department of Health Services (DHS) approval of any waiver plan that DHS hopes to submit to the federal government for approval.
This proposal represents a significant change to the Governor's proposed budget. For more background information on this issue, please see our issue section on Family Care and our previous blog posts on the the issue.