Nursing home residents want restored funding to Medicaid - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Nursing home residents want restored funding to Medicaid

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QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

Medicaid cuts in Illinois are hitting home in the Tri-States, and your parents and grandparents could be taking the brunt of it.

It's all part of a reform package approved by state lawmakers last year that slashes funding for medical care for seniors.

Sycamore Healthcare Center in Quincy has roughly 100 residents, 85% of those resident are covered by Medicaid, including resident John Caristo.

"I have a 90 dollar pension from the vets, that's what I live on," said Caristo.

Dental, vision and podiatry care are no longer covered by Medicaid. During the last year, Caristo has seen a number of his friends try and work around the cuts.

"Some of them had their medications changed, some can't have their dentures worked on, some have eye glasses that won't be able to be used and that's a shame," said Caristo.

The cut backs made from the state aren't only hurting seniors, but the nursing homes that take care of them.

"It kind of puts us in a bind because often in the emergency state, a lot more has to be done to provide proper care for that resident," said Sarah Mayfield, director of marketing and admissions for Sycamore Healthcare.

Mayfield says the current law does not provide residents with dental care other than in emergencies, leaving the nursing home in a financial strain.

"It's kind of a dire situation and a lot of places have gone under," said Mayfield. "So, what that leaves us with is a whole community of seniors needing care."

As of now, Caristo says he's getting by, but unfortunately that can't be said for some of his fellow residents.

"These are the people that built the country, but now we are cast aside because we can no longer function to help build the country...and that's a shame," explained Caristo.

Last week, residents signed a petition for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, along with cards that will be given to legislators asking them to restore the medicaid benefits that were cut.

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