August 15, 2016
The National Council on Independent Living strongly opposes H.R. 5902, the Disability Community Act.
Despite the purpose implied in the name, H.R. 5902 actually interferes with the provision of community-based services which enable people with disabilities to live in the community, while at the same time providing significant Federal funding to institutional providers serving one small segment of the Disability Community – individuals with developmental disability and intellectual disabilities.
The Act was created in response to recent changes to the FLSA overtime regulations, which raise the salary threshold for workers who are exempt from the payment of overtime. These regulations impose costs on a wide range of providers including those that provide community-based services as well as operators of institutions. In response to these increased costs, H.R. 5902 increases the Federal Medical Assistance Percentage (FMAP) to 90% for Intermediate Care Facilities (ICFs) and waivers serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
H.R. 5902 only addresses the needs of a small segment of the Disability Community – those receiving services from providers that serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Although the name of H.R. 5902 suggests broad-based support for the entire Disability Community, the legislation only focuses on funding providers that serve a very limited segment of the Disability Community: people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
According to a 2012 Census Bureau report, there are 51.5 million adults with disabilities in the US. The same census data indicates that less than 2.2 million of those individuals have an intellectual disability or other type of developmental disability.
Based on these numbers, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities only account for about 4 percent of the Disability Community, which means that H.R. 5902 fails to address the needs of 96% of the Disability Community. [Read more…]