Blunt, Kinder back initiatives for seniors

Gov. Matt Blunt

Gov. Matt Blunt

Gov. Matt Blunt and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder announced their support for additional funding for two vital senior programs during a press conference last week in the governor’s office.

As the official senior advocate for the state, Kinder had requested that funding be increased for the Home Delivered Meals program and for the revised Missouri Rx plan.

Blunt backs increases in funding for these senior programs, according to a news release.

“I want to thank Gov. Blunt for his continuing support for these essential senior programs,” Kinder stated in the release.

“By increasing funding in 2006 for Home Delivered Meals by $600,000 and adding an additional $400,000 for Missouri Rx, we are continuing our commitment to Missouri’s low-income seniors. These two programs are excellent examples of how we can help our most vulnerable citizen,” the lieutenant governor added.

Blunt stated, “When state government is efficient and responsive to its citizens, we can boost funding for crucial programs such as Home Delivered Meals and Missouri Rx. I am pleased we can provide additional services and increase assistance to Missouri seniors.”

The governor boosted funding in the 2005 budget for Medicaid recipients enrolled in the Home Delivered Meals program by $1.4 million, the release stated.

This year’s increase will assist non-Medicaid qualifying seniors.

The Home Delivered Meals program is administered through the 10 Missouri Area Agencies on Aging offices.

St. Louis Area Agency on Aging Director David Sykora applauded the funding increases proposed by the governor and lieutenant governor.

“The Home Delivered Meals program is a great example of smart spending of state funds,” Sykora stated.

“This program allows many seniors to remain in their homes independently and to live with dignity. I want to thank Gov. Blunt and Lt. Gov. Kinder for their support and commitment to funding Home Delivered Meals in Missouri,” he added.

The additional $400,000 for the Missouri Rx Plan will be targeted at outreach and education. Missouri Rx was created by the 83rd General Assembly to provide a supplemental benefit to the new Medicare Rx — also called Part D.

The Missouri Rx Plan went into effect this month, according to the release.