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Providing information, education, and training to build knowledge, develop skills, and change attitudes that will lead to increased independence, productivity, self determination, integration and inclusion (IPSII) for people with developmental disabilities and their families.

MiCASSA Introduced In Senate As S. 971
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
May 5, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC--Senator Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) and Senator Arlen Specter (R-PA) on Monday introduced to the U.S. Senate S. 971, known commonly as MiCASSA, the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act.

MiCASSA would allow Medicaid recipients to choose in-home services instead of being forced into nursing homes or other institutions. MiCASSA has support from both political parties. It was first introduced into Congress by House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997 and has been reintroduced nearly every year since. Advocates are optimistic that it will pass this time.

"I strongly believe that it is important to level the playing field and give eligible individuals equal access to community-based services and supports," Harkin said in a press release. "This vital legislation will open the door to full participation by people with disabilities in our workplaces, our economy, and our American Dream."

Next week, the grassroots disability rights group ADAPT (American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today) plans to draw lawmakers' attention to the need for MiCASSA during its spring action, "Stolen Lives". Among other things, ADAPT intends to bring together at least 750 activists from at least 30 states to the nation's capital to reveal a collage of pictures and stories of people who want forced institutionalization to end for people with disabilities of all ages. ADAPT will also demand from Bush and leaders of both political parties a formal national apology "for all the years that have been stolen from countless Americans due to decades of failed Medicaid policy that kept them warehoused in nursing homes and other institutions."

Related resources:
"Senator Harkin Introduces Bill To Support Community-Based Services" (Sen. Harkin Press Release)

"S. 971 MiCASSA: Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act" (Library of Congress)

"A Community-Based Alternative To Nursing Homes and Institutions for People with Disabilities" (ADAPT)


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