CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The North Carolina State Senate released a budget proposal with spending cuts to programs for older adults, the blind and disabled.

The Senate would like to change the way Medicaid money is spent in North Carolina.

The proposal would cut $969,549 from the Home and Community Care Block Grant which helps older adults stay in their homes and supports family caregivers. Also, included is the elimination for Medicaid eligibility for about 12,000 disabled adults by January 1, 2015 who receive State/County Special Assistance. It is all aimed at saving the state tens of millions of dollars and creating more accountability from the Department of Health and Human Services.

AARP North Carolina Associate State Director Mary Bethel released a statement saying, This is not only a serious setback to older adults and their family caregivers, the loss of funding puts more people at risk of having to resort to more expensive care settings such as a nursing homes and assisting living facilities.

The AARP is also upset about changes to the Medicaid system.

She said, Currently in North Carolina, there are 3,342 blind or disabled people, including children and families, who receive Medicaid because they are medically needy. Without this support, their medical expenses will overwhelm them, creating great economic hardships.

Currently in North Carolina there are 59 counties with more people over age 60 then under age 60.

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