House Passes Major Disability Rights Bill
“Money Follows the Person” Program Would Allow More People With Disabilities to Get Care at Home Rather Than in Institutions.
WASHINGTON — The House of Representatives passed legislation today to reauthorize the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program, which helps people with disabilities move out of nursing homes and institutions, and into their own homes and communities. Since MFP expired in September 2016, states are on the brink of having to shutter the essential program. The IMPROVE Act (H.R. 7217), will allocate the funds states need to continue MFP into 2019.
Since 2005, MFP has supported the transition of more than 75,000 people in 43 states and the District of Columbia, and has been responsible for significant and lasting improvements in quality of life for people with disabilities.
Vania Leveille, senior legislative counsel at the ACLU, had the following response:
“Today, the House took critical action for the disability community. Money Follows the Person is not just a health care program — it is the vehicle that empowers people to live independently. Institutional life isolates people with disabilities and deprives them of autonomy, liberty, and self-determination. The Senate should quickly follow suit and send the IMPROVE Act to the White House for signature.
“While this short-term reauthorization is preferable to none, Congress must negotiate a longer-term solution next year. With only four months of funding, states can’t establish new MFP programs, and without the certainty of long-term funding, existing programs are impeded from being fully effective. “
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