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Nursing homes need help, says bipartisan caucus

House and Senate members from both parties announced a bipartisan, bicameral Long Term Care Caucus and discussed their 2013 legislative agenda.

They were joined by representatives from the Long-Term Care Imperative and SEIU Health Care Minnesota, UFCW, United Steelworkers, AFSCME Council 5 and the AARP to talk about the critical need for policymakers to prioritize funding for seniors and caregivers .

This working group recently introduced legislation to increase funding to nursing homes and senior home care services.

"Today, we are proposing a bill that would take a significant step toward addressing the chronic underfunding of senior care services by providing up to a 5 percent increase to nursing homes and elderly waiver providers for each year of the biennium," said Senator Eken (DFL - Twin Valley).

Representative Jay McNamar (DFL - Elbow Lake) is an author on the bill.

"This is the kind of bill that benefits all the communities in our district and the state," said McNamar. "The increased funding for caregivers and seniors shows that we do want to take care of our seniors."

Nursing home rates have been frozen for the past four years, and the elderly waiver program has been cut by double digits over that same time frame.

The working group will collaborate with the governor and legislative leaders to support funding for nursing homes and the elderly waiver program.

McNamar can be reached by phone at (651) 296-4929 or at rep.jay.mcnamar To sign up for e-mail updates from McNamar, visit www. or