DAA News Network

USA: Billions available to support independent living

Posted 28/2-11 at 17.08

Under the Affordable Care Act, the federal government is to spend $4.3 billion to help establish and expand community-based alternatives to long-term institutional care.

$621 million will be provided over the next five years to expand the Money Follows the Person programme. This allows disabled people who are living in institutions to move into the community with services and support.

Furthermore, the Department of Health and Human Services is proposing rules for the Community First Choice Option, a new initiative offering states access to a combined $3.7 billion over the next three years in additional Medicaid matching funds if they agree to eliminate caps on the number of individuals who can live in the community.

Dr. Donald Berwick, administrator of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), said, "There is more evidence than ever that people who need long-term care prefer to live in their own homes and communities whenever possible. To restrict these individuals to institutions where even the simplest decisions of the day such as when to get up, what to eat and when to sleep are made by someone else must no longer be the norm. This new Federal funding will make a difference in people's lives."

Editorial comment: When combined with the federal government's recent legal actions against states that have failed or been slow to move disabled people into the community, (see Our Rights, February 2011) these latest initiatives demonstrate a concerted effort by the Obama administration to promote the independent living agenda. A genuine good news story!





No comments registered

Add your comment:

Written by: