February 28, 2018

Empower Care Act

The ABA affirmed its support Feb. 21 for S. 2777, the EMPOWER Care Act, a bill that would extend the “Money Follows the Person” rebalancing demonstration grant program (MFP) through 2022. MFP was first authorized in 2005 and extended through September 2017 by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. In a letter to Senate Finance Committee Chairman Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), ABA Governmental Affairs Director Thomas M. Susman explained that MFP helps transition seniors and persons with disabilities from institutional settings back into the community. “By favoring community-based services, states save money and see better outcomes for their residents,” Susman explained. “That’s why nearly every state participates in the program.” Studies have shown that the program reduces Medicaid and Medicare expenditures by approximately 23 percent, with average per-beneficiary expenditures declining by $1,840 per month. As a result of the lapse in funding, states are running out of money for the program, and the number of people who transitioned back to the community declined for the first time since MFP was first authorized. The ABA supports governmental efforts to expand the availability of home and community-based services, including initiating and expanding other such efforts to help persons with disabilities live with dignity in the community.

 

Back to the February 2018 Washington Letter