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Monday, September 10, 2018

EMPOWER Care Act Advances

The Politics of Autism includes an extensive discussion of insurance and  Medicaid services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  

A Friday release from Rep. Brett Guthrie (R-KY):
Today the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Health Subcommittee approved Congressman Brett Guthrie’s (KY-02) and Congresswoman Debbie Dingell’s (MI-12) Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources (EMPOWER) and Care Act (H.R. 5306), which will help certain Medicaid participants receive long-term care in their homes or communities if they voluntarily choose to receive in-home care.

The EMPOWER Care Act reauthorizes the federal Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program for one year. This program allows certain Medicaid users, such as seniors and individuals with disabilities, transition from a nursing home or institutional care back to their home. Since the MFP program was created over a decade ago, it has successfully helped over 88,000 individuals receive care in their own homes. The MFP program does not require people to leave institutional care; rather, it allows individuals who choose to go home to do so.

“There’s a reason we named our bill the EMPOWER Care Act – because we want to empower individuals with disabilities and seniors to choose the care that works best for them,” said Guthrie. “Kentucky Transitions, which administers the MFP program in the Commonwealth, has allowed hundreds of Kentuckians in nursing homes and other institutions to choose to go back to their own homes for care, and other states have had similar success. This program is a cost-effective way for people to receive the care that is best for them where they want to be. I was proud to introduce this bill with Congresswoman Dingell and I urge the full committee to approve this bill as soon as possible.”

“Our long-term care system is completely broken. Unfortunately I am witnessing its problems firsthand and am meeting people in crisis almost daily,” said Dingell. “The Money Follows the Person program has demonstrated it works, has strong bipartisan support, and saves taxpayers money by successfully transitioning thousands of people from institutions to a community setting where they can be with their loved ones. This is why I’m proud to author the EMPOWER Care Act with my friend and colleague Congressman Brett Guthrie to reauthorize the program. Advancing this bill through the Health Subcommittee is a critical step to getting it signed into law this year, and I’m looking forward to working with my colleagues on the Energy and Commerce Committee to ensure we get this done.”

Now that the Health Subcommittee has approved the EMPOWER Care Act, it must be marked up by the full Energy and Commerce Committee before heading to the House floor for a vote.