From Transition Letter Attachment Sent by AAPD and a Coalition of Consumer Controlled Organizations (12/22/08):
Promoting Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS)
· Too many people with disabilities live in nursing homes and other institutions - declared ‘discrimination’ by Olmstead - since Medicaid requires institutional care, but not HCBS.
· The Deficit Reduction Act allows money-saving waivers that enable people with disabilities to live in the community, provide supports to work, and enhance quality of life.
· There is not enough accessible, affordable, integrated housing for individuals with disabilities and individuals with disabilities are often isolated because of the lack of adequate transportation
· Professionals and relatives traditionally make decisions "for" individuals with disabilities. Full participation in community life requires self-determination and consumer control.
Long Term Goals:
· Shift Medicaid and Medicare funding to home and community-based services (HCBS) to promote community living. Increasing the FMAP to states, community-based, self-directed, peer-delivered, holistic care, and creating more community-based alternatives to costly Medicaid nursing homes and other institutions, will change the focus to independent living and participation.
· Increase access to affordable, accessible, integrated housing for individuals with disabilities
· Increase access to transportation for individuals with disabilities.
Short Term Goals:
· Direct CMS to convene a summit with consumers, family members, and experts to establish principles, priorities and a timeline to design a Community Living Waiver for national use.
· Work with Congress to:
o Pass Senator Harkin’s Community Choice Act, to require states to offer community-based supports for Medicaid-eligible consumers so they may choose to live in their own home, as a cost-effective, community-based alternative to institutional care.
o Provide tax incentives for building accessible housing and other buildings and include making infrastructure and public building accessible in all economic stimulus packages.
o Pass the Community Living Attendant Services and Supports Act (CLASS) to promote independence.
· Direct the Secretary of HHS and the Attorney General to make implementation of the Olmstead decision a priority through HHS’ OCR and the DOJ.
· Assure the Executive Order on Olmstead implementation is followed and its scope is broadened.
· Ask the National Governors Association and the National Conference of State Legislatures to work with your Administration to fully implement Olmstead and the Community Choice Act.
· Direct the Secretary of HUD to develop a plan to end homelessness and provide adequate, safe, affordable housing for people with disabilities, and increase the number of Section 8 vouchers.
· Increase investment in public transportation in rural areas where people with disabilities are often isolated and unable to participate in society or meet their needs of daily living.
· Support States and localities to develop coordinated human services delivery systems, increase funding for United We Ride, and other resources for transportation-coordination, planning tools, and technical assistance.