UCLA health policy researchers weigh in against cuts to in-home care

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The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research is taking aim at one of Governor Jerry Brown’s proposed budget cuts. Center officials are arguing against a big budget cut for in-home support services.

“In-home support services” is a state program that pays caretakers or relatives to tend to sick, disabled or elderly Californians who live at home. The thinking is that’s better and cheaper than nursing home care. There’s also a strong feeling in Sacramento that some people in that program waste or scam money.

Governor Brown is proposing to cut in-home support services by 8 percent. But the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research says in a new report that the people who need in-home care will cut back on medicine or food – anything so they can keep the care and live at home.

The Center also predicts that as the sick, disabled and elderly people in California cut back, they’ll end up in emergency rooms or in hospitals – and taxpayers will end up paying for their care anyway. That idea could catch on. A number of state lawmakers from both parties now say a big cut in in-home support services is a bad idea.