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Some elderly, disabled in Washington state could lose funds

October 30, 2020 GMT

SEATTLE (AP) — Washington state has asked the Department of Social and Health Services to examine options for a 15% budget cut after a projected $9 billion shortfall is expected over the next two years.

That could mean more than $1 billion in losses for about 12,000 elderly and long-term care recipients and more than 8,000 developmentally disabled people, KING-TV reported Thursday.

DSHS spokesman Chris Wright said the potential cuts “could have a huge effect on a large portion of the population of the state.”

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For residents like 83-year-old Mary Spears, the cuts could prove drastic, the TV station reported. Spears exhausted her life savings paying for assisted living and is on Medicaid. She is legally blind, uses a walker and has a heart condition. The potential cuts have her family scrambling for alternatives.

“It just feels like having the rug pulled out from under us,” said Spears’ daughter Sandra Brown-Potter while wiping away tears. “For years, we planned for how she would be taken care of, and to have this happen... we have no Plan B.”