Under Bill, Medicaid Would Incentivize Community-Based Options
A bipartisan group of senators is looking to provide financial incentives to states for helping people with disabilities live and work in the community.
The lawmakers want to establish a new Medicaid demonstration program that would offer financial bonuses to states for encouraging community-based outcomes. Under a bill introduced this week, a five-year program would be established in 10 states.
“States have financial disincentives to do more under the current system. This bill would try something different,” said the measure’s chief sponsor, U.S. Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa. “For participating states, it would change the incentives and help states do what they’d really like to do to better serve individuals with disabilities.”
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Specifically, the legislation known as the Transition to Independence Act would offer bonus payments to participating states for meeting certain benchmarks. Payments would be tied to increasing integrated employment and decreasing jobs paying subminimum wage, those located in segregated settings and day habilitation placements for individuals with disabilities receiving Medicaid-funded home or community-based services.
The bill is co-sponsored by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.
It has support from a wide range of disability advocacy groups including the American Association of People with Disabilities, the American Network of Community Options and Resources, the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, the National Association of State Directors of Developmental Disabilities Services, the National Down Syndrome Congress and Autism Speaks.