Nursing home residents step up to the plate to fight against Medicaid cuts

One of the baseball trading cards a resident at Sycamore Healthcare Centre created.

Local nursing home residents are stepping up to the plate to fight against proposed Medicaid cuts.

The Health Care Council of Illinois sponsored a rally event at the Sycamore Healthcare Centre in Quincy Friday.

Residents created their very own "baseball trading card" with their picture on it.

These cards will be sent to members of the Illinois General Assembly and Gov. Pat Quinn to remind them that when they talk about budget cuts their not just talking about numbers, their talking about people.

Quinn proposed a $2.7 billion cut in Medicaid dollars to nursing homes in Illinois. Organizers of the event say if the cut passes, nursing homes like Sycamore won't survive.

"That kind of cut just isn't possible," Pat Comstock from Health Care Council of Illinois said."We already have the lowest Medicaid nursing home rates in the country and right now that state owes us over $600 million," she said. "So that's strike one and strike two. If this 15-percent cut would go through that would be strike three and many facilities like this would just be out of business and these residents wouldn't have a home to go to."

If the cut does pass and nursing homes can manage. Comstock is worried about the quality of care residents will receive.

"Seventy percent of our cost are for labor," she said. "So you can't take a 15-percent cut and not have it impact employee," she said. "We're very very concerned about the quality of care we can deliver. We're already stressed by having the lowest rates in the nation and then to have 15 percent less, we can't imagine doing what we want to do and what we're expected to do for those dollars."

The event held at the Sycamore Healthcare Centre was part of a seventeen city stop hosted by the Healthcare Council of Illinois.