Changes to Wisconsin’s long-term care programs deserve care, caution

New opportunity to get it right as state delays changes to long term care

It took 16 years to create Wisconsin’s model, long-term care programs like Family Care and IRIS, programs that serve as many as 60,000 people with disabilities and older adults.

Gov. Scott Walker has asked the Legislature to make significant changes to the programs, including a shift to for-profit insurance companies.

While consumers and advocates for people with disabilities support some changes to the long-term care plans there are also serious risks to successfully keeping people in their homes with care they can trust, and these risks need to be considered as recommended by the Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

The IRIS program in particular has been successful in allowing people with disabilities to direct their own care in the interest of maximum independence and quality of life. It must be protected.

So we join the Wisconsin Long-Term Care Coalition and others in asking the Legislature to slow down and make sure this is done right.