MiCASSA Introduced Into Congress Again
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 18, 2005
WASHINGTON, DC--According to an alert from the disability rights group ADAPT, the Medicaid Community-Based Attendant Services and Supports Act has been reintroduced into Congress as S. 401.
The ADAPT alert noted that the bill was introduced Wednesday with bipartisan support by Senators Tom Harkin and Arlen Specter, along with 10 other Senators.
Otherwise known as MiCASSA, the measure would change Medicaid to allow long-term care recipients to use their funds for community-based and in-home supports if they choose. Currently, 75 cents of every Medicaid long-term care dollar goes toward nursing homes and other institutions, according to ADAPT.
MiCASSA was first introduced to Congress in 1997 by then Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich. It has been reintroduced several times since then, each time with a different bill number. While it has not been passed by the full Congress, it has gained more supporters each session.
"ADAPT has been advocating reform of the Medicaid long term care institutional bias for 15 years, and S. 401 is a solid start," said Bob Kafka, National ADAPT Organizer, in a press statement.
Advocates from across the country will be in the nation's capitol from February 26 through March 2 to get the National Governors Association to pass a resolution that endorses home and community-based services.
"We want the NGA to pass the resolution, and to pass the original version of the resolution," said Cassie James, ADAPT Organizer from Philadelphia, who noted that the current version has been "watered down" somewhat.
ADAPT members will also meet on February 27 with Mark McClellan, Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, to push for Medicaid reform.
Advocates for community and in-home supports have drawn opposition over the years from the nursing home industry and other organizations that want more money to go into nursing facilities and institutions.
"MiCASSA is introduced in the Senate S 401" (ADAPT)
The Medicaid Community Attendant Services Act, MiCASSA (ADAPT)