Probably most families with aging, disabled or handicapped members do not know about a bill called the HCBS Access Act making its way through Congress. It is promoted by the Advocacy Group for Communal Settings (ARC) to move these unfortunate people out of Independent Care Facilities (ICFs) and Nursing Homes to a more “communal setting.” All those needing Medicare residential supports will be forced into small settings — apartments with assisted living, parental homes with care workers, etc. — and though the bill does not say so, out of ICFs. The Federal Government will move up from paying around 60% of the current cost to 100%, though the States will still subsidize these new living locations.
The truth is that these handicapped people rely on ICF care and that the HCBS Access Act will dismantle this vital program in Ohio and across the country. Sen. Sherrod Brown is promoting the bill in Congress, and so it is essential to contact him via Abigail_duggan@brown.senate.gov or the Senate Aging Committee (HCBSComments@aging.senate.gov). It may be a good idea to first become better informed of the case for leaving the valuable handicapped and aging arrangements in place by contacting Disability Rights of Ohio. Their website is “disabilityadvocacyalliance.org),” or make a phone call (1 614 359-9323). Sen. Rob Portman is also worth contacting in this matter.