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Wednesday, March 29, 2000

By Kathryn Bender, Star-Bulletin
Faith Action for Community Equity supporters lobby
lawmakers yesterday for awareness on elder-care
issues. Here, they talk to Sen. Rod Tam, in tie.

Interfaith group
demands action on
long-term senior care

By Rosemarie Bernardo


Dr. Clementina Ceria, chairwoman of Faith Action for Community Equity Senior Care and Services Committee, said she's disappointed with the Legislature's "lack of action" concerning long-term care.

Legislature 2000 "It's long overdue," said Ceria.

Last year, SB 131 designated $100,000 for a study on financing options for long-term care, but the funding lapsed and the study wasn't done, said Ceria.

More than 200 people from FACE rallied at the Capitol courtyard yesterday.

George Lee, 72, said, "We want legislators to do a study of costs of a program that's affordable so that we can take care of ourselves and not be a burden to our children and not be a burden to the government."

The Rev. Joe Grimaldi of Roman Catholic Diocese of Honolulu said, "We want to support the elderly members of our community to ensure that their long-term care will not be compromised."

SB 2062 and HB 1834 have been introduced to the Legislature this session to extend the life of the joint legislative committee on long-term care financing and to set aside $200,000 for the study. The study involves looking at models, population and funding for long-term care.

"My greatest fear is that they pass it and put it on the shelf again," said Ceria. "That's no longer acceptable. They can't continue to put it off."

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