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Message from Big Sky Chair Terry Minow: Please Meet with Your Legislators over Transmittal Break

Dear fellow Big Sky 55+ member,

Senior long term care is in crisis. We are in danger of losing the care we need to live out our lives in dignity! YOU can make the difference. Here’s how.

Background:

  • Senior long term care is in crisis due to inadequate funding.

  • Twelve Montana long-term care facilities closed in the last year and others are on the verge of closing.

  • Big Sky 55+ lobbyist and board member, Margie MacDonald, is warning legislators we can’t wait to address this crisis.

  • Margie's excellent editorial ran statewide and can be read here.

Big Sky 55+ hosted a virtual town hall meeting with three experts who outlined the problems and solutions in February.

  • The Human Services Appropriations Subcommittee recently heard from national experts about how to begin to fix the problem by increasing the long-term care provider rate to at least $278 as recommended by the state’s own study.

  • Two-thirds of the funding would come from the federal government.

  • More information including a recording of the town hall can be found here.

Montana has a $2.5 billion budget surplus so the funds are available. But legislators are distracted by partisanship and culture wars. They are poised to give huge tax breaks to millionaires while ignoring the real needs of Montanans, including seniors.

How YOU can help:

Request a meeting with your legislators when they are home over the transmittal break, March 4-8. Find contact information for your legislators here.

Ask for a meeting using this message: “Dear (Senator or Representative). I live in your district. Please meet with me over transmittal to talk about the senior long-term care funding crisis. I can be reached

at (your email or phone number). Thank you.”

Don’t have time for a meeting? Schedule a call with your legislator. Personal contact is the only way we can break through this logjam. For more information, contact Jeannie Reeves-Hansen, Big Sky 55+ Political & Advocacy Coordinator, at Jeannie@bigsky55.org or 406-590-4388.

YOU, our member, are the best person to deliver this urgent message to your legislator: “Senior long-term care is in crisis. Quality senior services are needed for us to live out our remaining years in dignity. We are relying on you to increase the long-term care provider rate to at least $278.”

Thank you for your assistance.

My best—Terry

Terry Minow, Chair

Big Sky 55+

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