Community First Choice Option in new Senate Finance Bill
LATEST NEWS – Things are moving fast here in Washington DC. I know that many people with disabilities have been actively working to get the Community First Choice (CFC) Option included in health reform legislation as a whole.
First proposed by by Senator Harkin as a way to get the key provisions of the Community Choice Act (CCA) into health reform. The option would encourage states to provide Medicaid home and community based attendant services (rather than require them as the original CCA would do).
Senator Schumer introduced the language of the CFC Option as an amendment this week. Today, I reviewed the new modified Chairman’s Mark from Senator Baucus of the Senate Finance Committee. Below please find the exact language relating to the CFC Option that is in the bill:
To Accept with Modification Schumer Amendment #C13:
On page 50, at the end of the Long Term Services and Supports section
Insert ―The Chairman’s Mark would establish the Community First Choice Option, which would create a state plan option under section 1915 of the Social Security Act to provide community based attendant supports and services to individuals with disabilities who are Medicaid eligible and who require an institutional level of care. These services and supports include assistance toindividuals with disabilities in accomplishing activities of daily living and health related tasks. States who choose the Community First Choice Option would be eligible for enhanced federal match rate of an additional six percentage points for reimbursable expenses in the program. The option would sunset after five years.
―The Community First Choice Option also would require data collection to help determine how states are currently providing home and community based services, the cost of those services, and whether states are currently offering individuals with disabilities who otherwise qualify for institutional care under Medicaid the choice to instead receive home and community based services, as required by the U.S. Supreme Court in Olmstead v. L.C. (1999).
―The Community First Choice Option would also modify the Money Follows the Person Rebalancing Demonstration to reduce the amount of time required for individuals to qualify for that program to 90 days.