Advocacy Alert: #FundMFP (Money Follows the Person)
Meredyth Alexander, Advocacy Intern
EMPOWER Care Act gets Seniors & Individuals with Disabilities Back Home.
The Bipartisan EMPOWER Care Act (Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources & Care Act) – helps Medicaid beneficiaries receive long-term services and support in their community or home and help save taxpayer dollars in the process. Introduced by Sens. Portman (R-OH) and Cantwell (D-WA), it extends and improves the Money Follows the Person program (MFP), first enacted in 2005, and authorized by President Bush. MFP enhances the lives of older adults and individuals with disabilities to live independently and age with dignity.
MFP favors community-based services by rebalancing Medicaid to provide grants to states to effectively assist individuals with disabilities and older adults to transition to community-based living. Thanks to MFP, by the end of 2015 more than 43 states and the District of Columbia participated in the MFP demonstration as over 75,000 people left their nursing homes or institutions.
There is evidence that community-based services improved individuals’ quality of life and participants experienced increases in all quality-of-life domains that were measured. This independent evaluation was conducted by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) and provided to Congress in a 2017 report.
Unfortunately, MFP expired September 30, 2016, and while states can continue to use grant funding, they are running extremely low on funds and it is NOT enough to maintain the program at current levels. As a result, fewer individuals will be able to be transitioned out of institutional settings to the care of their choice. Last year was the first time that the number of people who transitioned to the community declined drastically! We must take action now so older adults and individuals with disabilities have the option to get out of institutions.
S. 2227 improves the MFP program and gives people with disabilities and older adults greater control over their lives. It is fiscally responsible! MFP improves the quality of life of individuals and saves the states’ and federal Medicaid funds.
Join us as we participate in a social media day on Thursday, March 8, 2018 to #FundMFP
The EMPOWER Care Act will improve and extend the program for five years. Urge our Texas U.S. Senators to support the and fund MFP (Money Follows the Person).
Please post on Facebook & Twitter! If you’d also like to call or email, contact information is below:
Senator John Cornyn
Washington D.C. Office: 202-224-2934
Central Texas Office: 512-469-6034
Senator Ted Cruz
Washington D.C. Office: 202-224-5922
Central Texas Office: 512-916-5834
The Arc of the United States
Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
Center for Public Representation
Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities (CCD)
National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities
National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care
National Council on Aging
National Council on Independent Living
National Disability Rights Network
National Down Syndrome Congress