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06/30/2014 PRESS ALERT:

For Information: Bruce Darling (585) 370-6690; Jerry Costley (801) 347-0370; Fran Fulton (267) 275-4479


WHO: ADAPT and Senator Tom Harkin
WHAT: ADAPT and Senator Harking Announce the Introduction of the Community Integration Act (CIA)
WHEN: Wednesday, June 25, 2014

On June 25, 2014 Senator Tom Harkin, a long-time disability rights champion, introduced the long-awaited Community Integration Act. This legislation, if passed, will codify in law the Supreme Court’s 1999 Olmstead decision in which the court found that persons with disabilities have a right to live in least restrictive—community settings. Last year Senator Harking commissioned an important study that found that most states are falling far short of the promise and obligation that is implicit in the Olmstead decision. Accordingly, this legislation:

  • Amends the requirements for the Medicaid State Plan so that any individual who is at the institutional level of care must be provided equal opportunity to receive home and community based services. The state also needs to meet new requirements for providing home and community based services. The legislation has a section that defines and strengthens key terms including the definition of “home and community based”.
  • The legislation includes a section that addressed the ways that states limit or restrict access to home and community based services, including a requirement that states address the needs for affordable, accessible, and integrated housing.
  • The legislation incorporates the remedies and procedures of the Americans with Disabilities Act into the Medicaid law and creates a new enforcement mechanism where the Secretary of Health and Human Services can reduce the federal Medicaid match for a state that fails to comply with the law.
  • The legislation adds a new requirement that states needs to report on their progress in providing community integration.
  • The legislation ends institutional bias by including home and community based services as a mandatory service for all states.
  • And finally, it includes a clause that provides states with the time they need to amend state law to comply with these new requirements.

Our thanks to Senator Harkin for this crowning legislation that marks decades of selfless commitment to the cause of the right of persons with disabilities to live in the community.

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