Sunday, June 28, 2009

CMS proposed new rules to strengthen Section 1915(c) medicaid waiver programs

As part of its celebration of the tenth anniversary of the Olmstead Decision, HHS announced proposed rulemaking designed to strengthen and broaden state operated HCBS 1915(c) waiver programs. The proposed rulemaking was published in the Federal Register last Monday, June 22. Supposedly intended to broaden the potential scope for participants in medicaid waiver programs authorized under Section 1915(c), these rules have one major drawback: they continue to leave implementation up to the individual states. I strongly believe that medicaid (as well as medicare) needs to be operated at the federal level, and that this transfer of power needs to take place as soon as humanly possible.

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About Me

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I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.