Back to the Dark Ages? NO! Help (Dis)abled Adults in PA
In reducing its budget, the State of Pennsylvania has made radical changes to Medicaid waivers affecting citizens with brain injuries, autism, and physical (dis)abilities.*
The state has substituted inadequate and inappropriate services that require these differently-abled people to work with new and unfamiliar staff and agencies.
No transition period or plan has been provided. These (dis)abled adults and their families will be left for months without proper supports.
- Differently-abled people will lose federally guaranteed “least restrictive” means of support.
-- Citizens living independently in the community will be forced to give up their private homes. They will no longer be free to choose the people they live with or their staff. Instead, they will be forced to live with strangers in state institutional settings or provider-owned and operated group homes. The waiver changes do not favor services that make independent living viable.
-- Adults living with their families will lose current, long-term, highly-trained staff in lieu of care from lower-paid people from an unsuitable, custodial-care category or be sent to day habilitation services where many people regress.
-- People will lose essential therapies that increase their abilities to function more independently and interact socially.
- The economy of Pennsylvania will be negatively affected.
-- Parents with sons and daughters living at home will be compelled to fill gaps in services and/or forced to leave their jobs.
-- Current staff members will either be laid off or have their hours drastically reduced and lose their (minimal) benefits. Most of these people are now paid only about $10/hour.
-- Care-providing agencies will lose a significant percentage of their incomes. Many of these are small businesses.
Tell the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to halt these waiver changes. Tell Pennsylvania that differently-abled citizens, families, staff, and agencies must take full part in the decision-making process. Tell Pennsylvania to create a solution to the state’s budget problem that will not destroy the independence we have fought for, devastate families, and cause further economic hardship. We cannot go back to the Dark Ages.
*This applies to the COMMCARE, OBRA, and Independence waivers overseen by the Office of Long-Term Living.
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