Nonprofits Seek Funding For Healthcare, Social Services
The Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations this afternoon tried to steer the attention of the state's lawmakers towards funding for health care and other social services.
The group released a report charging that even if lawmakers approve Gov. Martin O'Malley's plan to eliminate a budget deficit, the state will still be left with underfunded programs.
"Community programs and services are seriously underfunded," said Peter V. Berns, the association's executive director. "The government is falling short."
Henry W. Bogdan, public policy director at the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations, said he hopes lawmakers discuss such programs in their debate over O'Malley's plan to close a budget shortfall projected to be at least $1.5 billion.
"There hasn't been any discussion in our minds of the other 'budget deficit,'" Bogdan said of the lack of state funding for social programs. "When will we deal with some of these needs?"
According to the group's report, titled "Left Behind in the Budget Debate," only 30 percent of Maryland's children on Medicaid get dental care each year. The report also says that more than 10,000 elderly Marylanders and more than 16,000 individuals with developmental disabilities are stuck on waiting lists for help at home.
Claire Whitbeck, of United Seniors of Maryland, spoke at this afternoon's press conference and said there is a "senior tsunami" in Maryland and caring for the state's growing senior population will require more state investment.
"I wouldn't want my grandmother to be on Medicaid in Maryland right now," Whitbeck said.
-- Philip Rucker
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