WISCONSIN’S ELDERLY AND DISABLED LEFT WITHOUT SAFETY NET
Wisconsin’s elderly and other disabled people have had their safety net dismantled. Now, without
the help the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups and others have provided, many are finding themselves in a state of limbo when they need help the most.
After the Walker administration took over, 1.3 million dollars were removed, annually, from the largest senior coalition in the state of Wisconsin, the Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups (see CWAG @ cwagwisconsin.org). The non-partisan CWAG had been helping over 1.2 million Wisconsin elders and people with disabilities navigate the state’s services and provided informational programs since 1978.
Monies allocated for CWAG went to a group called Greater Wisconsin Agency for Aging and Resources (GWAAR). The new group never received necessary approval by the state legislature.
Without the Legislature’s approval legal oversight was not in place. Walker appointees, who have no prior experience or necessary credentials in working with elderly and disability populations, were given official positions in GWAAR.
The Walker administration attempted to discredit the CWAG as a reason for eliminating their funding. However, independent auditors verified CWAG as an exceptional group working on behalf of the public in Wisconsin for over 30 years.
Ken Mosentine, Walker’s own appointed chair of GWAAR, has requested CWAG funding be restored. Mosentine has resigned his position with GWAAR and brought charges against the Walker administration, GWAAR, DHS and others for various illegal actions. Documents show that tens of millions of dollars in funding to these agencies has been mishandled (see Mosentine’s letter at cwagwisconsin.org).
I’m outraged with the impacts of this loss of our safety net. I recently lost a good friend. I know that had the oversight and services been in place to help him, he would not have suffered the inhumane treatment of horrific expenses imposed upon him. Those who demanded money up front, while he was dying, did not take into account the fact that he had planned for this ultimate possibility. It was, until the end, an unforgiveable act toward a humble individual who had given much for the good of his community. It is on his behalf, and many others in our communities, that I endeavor to expose these unfair and disrespectful acts put upon citizens in Wisconsin in their hours of need.
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