For almost four decades, the Federal/State Medicaid program has ensured that, nationally, nearly 2 million people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities have access to health care and/or long-term services and supports.
Federal and state policymakers have critically examined and curtailed Medicaid funding, resulting in compromising desired individual goals and quality of life for people with developmental disabilities. We must continue to educate and advocate with key decision makers at the state and federal level to ensure that Medicaid remains responsive to the critical needs of people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.
It is The Arc New York’s position that to address the present and emerging needs of individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities:
- The New York State Medicaid plan should assist people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities to live full lives in the community, experience a high quality of life, and achieve economic security and personal independence to the extent possible for the individual.
- Individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities are entitled to a full range of Medicaid-financed health care and long-term services across their lifespan.
- Families should not be required to impoverish themselves, use personal funds, nor be required to keep an individual at home to receive the basic health and social supports the individual needs to live.
- Services should be received with reasonable promptness and with sufficient quality and quantity to meet their individual needs.
- Services and expenditures should continue to be redirected from institutional care to home and community-based supports.
- Medicaid must afford individuals and families opportunities to design and direct their own services to the extent that they wish and with the assistance they need.
- Services should be portable across all geo-political jurisdictions.
- Any effort to change or otherwise reform the Medicaid program must take into account the impact of such change upon individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, in order to prevent unintended harmful consequences.
- The quality and effectiveness of health and long-term services and supports for persons with intellectual and other developmental disabilities depends upon qualified service providers with necessary skills and training. Federal and state responsibility for service quality, therefore, should include assuring sufficient recruitment, retention, and training of, as well as appropriate pay for, the personnel who provide needed services and supports.
- Medicaid-based provider reimbursement systems must provide for living wages and decent fringe benefits to direct support professionals.
- Medicaid reform should address wait lists, the quality of service providers and staff, and increased availability of quality health care services for individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities.