Efforts to repeal and replace the ACA and make changes to Medicaid are underway in the US House and Senate. The House is scheduled to vote on the bill this coming Thursday 3/23. Click link above for latest information sheets.
PA Funding for Intellectual Disabilities and Autism
Governor Wolf’s proposed budget for ID/Autism merges the Departments of Aging, Drug and Alcohol Programs, Health and Human Services into one agency: The Department of Health and Human Services. The budget includes significant additional funding for waiver programs that allow people to live in the community. See information about the budget here.
Medicaid Waiver Services
Waivers are the means through which Autistic people and people with developmental and/or intellectual disabilities receive services that allow people to live in the community. Latest released information on consolidated waivers is available here.
Deinstitutionalization and Sheltered Workshops
Pennsylvania will shut down Norristown State Hospital and Hamburg State Center over the next 18-24 months, in a process which will include individualized plans to help residents adjust to living in the community.
Pennsylvania’s new guidelines will gradually move individuals currently working in sheltered workshops to spending 75% of their time in integrated settings over the next 3 years. Read Cori Frazer’s commentary here.
PA Bill of Rights for Autistic People/People with ID
A group of 22 representatives introduced a bill “establishing a bill of rights for individuals with intellectual disabilities or autism” into the PA House. Representative Thomas Murt is the primary sponsor of the bill. The bill affirms the right of individuals to receive services in the community, recognizes the competencies, right to independence, and decision-making capability of individuals, and calls for DHS to develop a five-year plan to eliminate waiting lists for waiver services. The bill is currently in the PA House Human Services Committee. Gene DiGirolamo of Bucks County is the chair of the committee. Contact his offices at: 215-750-1017 (Bensalem office) or 717-783-7319 (Harrisburg) to encourage him to move the bill through committee.
One Page Information Sheet (leave behind @ meetings)
Senator Sabatina has reintroduced Paul’s Law! In the next month, we’ll be reaching out to senators and representatives to encourage them to move the bill forward.
For a list of past actions, click here.