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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.

Senate To Hold Hearings On Institutional Bias
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 31, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC--Advocates for community-based supports have scored a victory this week in the battle against the institutional bias in Medicaid funding.

After months of work by disability rights groups, staff from Senator Charles Grassley's office announced that the Senate Finance Committee will hold hearings next Wednesday, April 7, on S. 1394, the Money Follows the Person, and S. 971, otherwise known as MiCASSA, the Medicaid Community-Based Attendant Services and Supports Act.

The Money Follows the Person, which was introduced into the Senate last summer, would provide money to states to help transition people from institutions to community-based services. MiCASSA would give Medicaid recipients the choice of in-home supports over institutions.

Nearly 75 percent of all Medicaid long-term care funding is currently used by nursing homes and other institutions. Funding for such programs is mandated in some states, while in-home supports are not.

Grassley, who chairs the committee, said the hearing will bring together experts to describe how the proposal would work, and to look at the details from the perspectives of all involved.

Leaders with NCIL (National Council on Independent Living), ADAPT (Americans Disabled For Attendant Programs Today), and other groups are encouraging advocates to attend the hearing, which will be held at 10:00 am, in Room 215 of the Dirksen Senate Office Building. Those who cannot attend are encouraged to contact committee members or provide statements for the official record.

The U.S. Supreme Court in 1999 ruled that unnecessarily institutionalizing people with disabilities violates their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Presidents Clinton and Bush have ordered state Medicaid programs to develop plans to implement the so-called Olmstead decision.

Related:
Instructions on giving comments for official record (United States Senate Committee on Finance)

http://finance.senate.gov/sitepages/hearings.htm
"Prepare for Money Follows Person Hearing"(Justice For All Action Alert)
http://www.dimenet.com/hotnews/cgi/getlink.cgi?3775R

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