States Ax Programs for Elderly, Kids

By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 11, 2009 6:36 PM CDT
At least 34 US states, battered by the recession, are slashing social programs that help the elderly and children.   (Shutterstock)

(Newser) – States are slashing social services across the US, crippling programs for children and the elderly that might save money in the long run, the New York Times reports. Barack Obama's $787 billion stimulus plan is easing the pain by helping low earners, but at least 34 states are cutting aid to America's most vulnerable. "We’re getting short-term savings that will result in greater long-term human and financial costs,” said Arizona official Linda Blessing.

Illinois, Florida, and Ohio are among recession-battered states making difficult cuts, but Arizona is enduring some of the worst. More than 1,000 of the state's elderly no longer have home-care aides, reports of child abuse or neglect are sometimes ignored, and toddlers with disabilities no longer receive therapy. But Gov. Jan Brewer faces a $3 billion shortfall. “There are no good options," said Blessing, "just less bad options.”