People Protest DHHS Budget Cuts

        A group called Action Committe Nebraska met up earlier this morning to protest budget cuts to the department of health and human services. 

        Concerned citizens gathered outside the state office building this morning to protest what they say are upcoming budget cuts that take away money from programs provided by the Department of Health and Human Services.

        ACN, the group who organzied the protest, said budget cuts need to be made elsewhere because people rely on services provided by the department.

        "Let’s spend it on providers that give home care to the disabled and allow them to stay in their homes instead of being institutionalized, instead of being put on a wait list where they could in fact die," said Stephanie Barths a member of Action Committee Nebraska.

         The group says budget cuts of $11.4 million dollars will kick almost 1,200 people off medicaid and no longer provide funding for home care based programs, forcing families to put their loved ones in instituions. 

        "I find it almost criminal that Pete Ricketts would cut from the most vulnerable in our society, if you want to privatize other things go ahead, but these are the most vulnerable in our society," said Barths.

        I spoke with DHHS at a meeting this morning and they said ACN’s claims are inaccurate. 

        They said the Govorners proposed budget, which was apporoved by the state legislature, will not kick people off medicaid and does not reduce funding for home care based programs.

        In a statement DHHS said," The department of health and human services is successfully delivering a variety of services to over 12,000 Nebraskans who are elderly or have disabilities so they can continue to live in, or return to, their own homes or another home–like setting."

        The statement goes on to say, "The budget reductions from last legislative session have not, and will not impact these services."

        DHHS urges anyone with questions about the budget cuts or assistance programs to contact them.