Petition Closed
Petitioning U.S. Senate

Keep the CFC Option and the CLASS Act in Health Reform

This petition is aimed at helping to keep crucial long term services and supports provisions that will help people with disabilities live independently in the community in the upcoming health reform bill.

The Community First Choice Option will provide an incentive for states to change their Medicaid plans to put community services on par with institutional services, eliminating the institutional bias.

The CLASS Act will create a new middle class voluntary long term services and supports financing mechanism funded by a voluntary payroll tax.

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 program 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.

 

Letter to
U.S. Senate
I am writing to urge you to contact the Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and the Senate Leadership to ensure that both the CLASS Act and the Community First Choice Option, both included in the Senate Finance Committee's bill, are included in the final healthcare reform bill in the Senate. People with disabilities who need long term services 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; and
3. able to have the freedom to choose where they want to live.

The Community First Choice Option will provide an incentive for states to change their Medicaid plans to put community services on par with institutional services, eliminating the institutional bias.

The CLASS Act will create a new middle class voluntary long term services and supports financing mechanism funded by a voluntary payroll tax.

Both will save money over the long run and vastly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities and our family members. Please help ensure that health reform doesn't leave people with disabilities behind.