The 18th Anniversary of the Olmstead Supreme Court Decision
U.S. Senator Bob Casey
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Here in NY State, as well as throughout the US, CMS is keeping a watchful eye on State governmental agencies as they transition people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) out of institutional settings into the community. CMS will not fund any community service or support unless it complies 100% with the Olmstead Decision. BCRA’s draconian cuts to Medicaid, which funds 90% of those community services and supports, put states in jeopardy of non-compliance with the Olmstead Decision’s stipulation of serving people in the least restrictive environment, most appropriate to their needs. Therefore, those massive cuts to Medicaid will force non-profit providers of those community services to reduce the number of services or the number of people they serve. This would result in making waiting lists longer than they already are while aging parents become less and less able to take care of their disabled adult children. The ramifications are massive for people with IDD…the only way to serve those in crisis would be to reopen the institution-like developmental centers in order to provide residential placements for those individuals whose parents can no longer take care of them. At a time when the population of people with IDD continues to grow, and the need for community services is expanding exponentially, why would those whom we’ve elected to serve us rip those supports out from under the most vulnerable of their constituents? One wonders where the love of God, which should be in the hearts of those whom we’ve elected to serve us, has gone!