Thursday, October 22, 2009

Act Now to Ensure the CFC Option and CLASS ACT Remain in Healthcare Reform!

Call Sen. Shelby and Sen. Sessions, today, and ask for their support!

You may call toll-free (thanks to Families USA): 1-800-828-0498 or use the
Capitol switchboard: 202-224-3121.


I am calling to urge Senator _________ to ensure that both the CLASS Act and
the Community First Choice Option are included in the final healthcare
reform bill in the Senate. People with disabilities who need long term
and supports now or in the future should be:

1. a part of the solution;
2. able self-determine the services and supports that they really want;
3. able to have the freedom to choose where they want to live.

Background Information

This week the Senate Finance and the Senate Health, Education, Labor and
Pensions (HELP) Committees are merging their separate healthcare reform
bills into one single bill that will go to the Senate floor to be debated as
early as next week. Two critical provisions that change the way long term
services are delivered and funded for people with disabilities are included.
These two provisions complement one another and must be a part of the final
Senate bill!

The Finance Committee bill includes the Community First Choice (CFC)
Medicaid Option. This state option will allow the states to offer broadly
defined attendant services and supports in one's home or community setting
to individuals eligible for nursing home, ICFs/MR, and other institutional
level care. To encourage the states to implement the CFC Option, the state
will receive a 6 percent increase in its federal medical assistance
percentage (FMAP) match for services provided under this option. The CFC
moves us one step closer to ending the institutional bias in Medicaid!

The Health Education Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee's bill includes the
Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (CLASS) Act. The CLASS
Act would create a solvent, affordable, premium-based, national insurance
providing a cash benefit that can be used for assistance with the
activities of daily living. This helps state Medicaid budgets because many
people will have a way to avoid becoming impoverished by spending down to
Medicaid eligibility levels. The CLASS Act complements the CFC Option and
Medicaid, Medicare, and private long term care insurance.

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