NAELA Urges Passage of Bill to Transition People with Disabilities Back to Home

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In recognition of the 19th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision, NAELA urges Congress to fund the program that gets people out of nursing homes and back into the community.

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Individuals with disabilities want to live the American dream just like everyone else. Money Follows the Person allows them to get back home, where they can work, study, and contribute to their communities.

Today marks the 19th anniversary of the Supreme Court’s ruling in Olmstead v. L.C., which recognized that under the Americans with Disabilities Act, individuals with disabilities have a qualified right to state-funded supports and services in the community.

The United States unfortunately has a long, shameful history in segregating and unnecessarily institutionalizing people with disabilities. While progress has been made since Olmstead, many people with disabilities are still trapped in nursing homes due to the fact that the Medicaid program mandates this form of coverage, but makes home and community-based services (HCBS) optional.

This anniversary, NAELA joins a coalition of aging and disability groups to urge Congress to pass the bipartisan Empower Care Act. The legislation would renew the Money Follows the Person Medicaid demonstration project (MFP). MFP has helped more than 75,000 seniors and people with disabilities move out of nursing homes and back to the community. Unfortunately, MFP expired in September 30, 2016. All participating states will run out of funding by the end of the year.

“Individuals with disabilities want to live the American dream just like everyone else. Money Follows the Person allows them to get back home, where they can work, study, and contribute to their communities,” said NAELA President Michael J. Amoruso, Esq., Fellow, CAP.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org.

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Abby Matienzo
NAELA
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