Monday, May 24, 2010
Forced To Leave Home, Part 2
Cheryl from the blog Finding My Way: Journey of an Uppity Intellectual Activist Crip, left the following comment on last Friday's blog post. I thought it important enough to repost here:
ADAPT had Syracuse/Cornell do a study that found that funds for the Community Choice Act would cost middle class Americans $6.07 in taxes a YEAR to keep people in the community. That's without factoring in the savings from all the institutions that would be forced to close as a result. Then we paid for a Harris Poll where 2/3 of Americans said they would support the bill before they even knew how much it cost. After they found out it, that number went up to 89%. Now what bill has an 89% approval rating? All you have to do is skip 1 trip to Starbucks a year. Here's a link to the fact sheet:
Cost and Benefits of the Community Choice Act
So, what I want to know is where do I send my $6.07
Watching states balance their budgets by cutting services to people with disabilities is not the only way they are forcing more institutional decisions.
I spoke with a mother of a 15 year old young man who is severely disabled but who wants to stay home with his family. To accomplish that, the family must have the assistance of nurses around the clock. Unfortunately, they live in a smaller city in Virginia, a city not known for available service providers.
This young man is approved for nursing services and for enough hours to provide the assistance the family needs to keep their son home with them. But they can’t find nurses to staff the positions that have been approved. This is yet another example of how people with disabilities are being forced into making a decision to institutionalize.
I believe that our state Medicaid services should be required to maintain an adequate number of providers for the people with disabilities in the state. Whether that means raising salaries and reimbursements rates, or providing additional training, whatever is required to make sure that people have the support they need to stay in the community.
But there’s the rub – I don’t believe our states, or at least my state, wants people to remain in the community. Why else would our budget this year provide funds to build a new institution and not fund more community based waiver slots?