Senator Harkin Introduces Community Integration Act
Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), chairman of the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) committee introduced the Community Integration Act (S. 2515) on the same day the committee held a roundtable hearing on “Moving Toward Greater Inclusion” as part of the activities commemorating the 15th anniversary of the Supreme Court Olmstead decision (watch a video of the hearing on the committee website). The bill would eliminate the institutional bias in Medicaid by requiring the option of home or community-based services (HCBS) for anyone who requires an “institutional level of care”. The bill is based on the findings of the HELP Committee’s July 2013 report: Separate and Unequal: States Fail to Fulfill the Community Living Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The bill not only ends the institutional bias in Medicaid, but addresses other barriers to community living like support for a high-quality direct support workforce and the lack of accessible, affordable housing.
Separate and Unequal: States Fail to Fulfill the Community Living Promise of the ADA
In July of 2013, Senator Tom Harkin as Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions released a report showing that, 14 years after the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), many states were still failing to live up to the community integration mandate included in that law. The report, titled “Separate and Unequal: States Fail to Fulfill the Community Living Promise of the Americans with Disabilities Act,” was the result of requests for information sent by Chairman Harkin to all 50 states on the progress made to transition individuals out of institutions.
The 6 by 15 campaign seeks to improve the community integration of people with disabilities by encouraging states to implement the Community First Choice Option. Read more about our goal…