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ANCOR – CALL TO ACTION – SUPPORT THE DISABILITY COMMUNITY!

Nancy Silver HargreavesIn the next six weeks, Congress will be in session and actively seeking to restructure Medicaid. Medicaid is the funding that all providers have access to in order to fund the Department of Developmental Services at the level it is today in Massachusetts.

Massachusetts receives 50 cents on the dollar for every dollar spent in the state on services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities under the Medicaid Waiver. This benefits all of the Individuals served and the workforce that supports them.

We are asking our WCI community to consider seriously sending an email using this link to Congress, your Representative and Senators! This funding is absolutely needed to support those that we serve today and in the future. We support the most vulnerable people in the State who need their services to live meaningful lives at home, at work and in the community, which is WCI’s mission.

Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Autism, medical and sensory disabilities face a myriad of challenges – accessible housing, health care for chronic medical needs, clinical supports, interpreters, full community and communication access, employment, need for day services and others.

In addition, the workforce that supports people is the #1 priority in providing supports to people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. People can’t live their life without adequate staff and clinical supports for safety, community integration, employment and communication access. The field needs resources to continue what it has achieved over the past 40 years (since its inception) and to provide what is needed in the future.

The alternative is Block Grants which place a CAP on the amount of funding to the states from the Federal government. Once the funds run out, it would be up to the State to fund the rest that is needed. This is a tremendous burden on the States. It would eliminate the matching funds that each State receives. Massachusetts matches the funds at one of the highest levels in the country. There are thousands that receive services through this Medicaid Waiver in Massachusetts. If it goes away or is reduced people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities will lose their funding or not have access to it going forward. The State will not be able to support people currently receiving services or for those who will need services in the future. It will jeopardize people’s services and potentially force people back into institutions which we have fought to close. Community integration will be in jeopardy.

Should people with disabilities have this burden placed upon them. It is the government’s responsibility to take care of its most vulnerable citizens.

The American Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP) states, “without the guarantee of matching funds, states will not be able to sustain existing services, much less expand them to meet the tremendous unmet need in the disability community.” Please link to your Congress delegates and let them know you are in support of the Medicaid Waiver.

If you have any questions about this subject, please contact me at nshargreaves@wearewci.org.

Nancy Silver Hargreaves, President & CEO

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