The National Council on Independent Living Opposes Section 207 of H.R. 2646, Regarding Electronic Visit Verification.
As the nation’s oldest cross-disability, national grassroots organization run by and for people with disabilities, NCIL vehemently opposes the passage of § 207 of H.R. 2646, requiring electronic visit verification (EVV) for personal care and home health services under Medicaid. This requirement which appeared last minute in markup will only serve to harm people with disabilities and seniors, and is little more than a handout to EVV companies.
This EVV requirement, based on false stereotypes that disabled people and seniors are helpless and homebound, only serves to infantilize and discriminate against older and disabled Americans who require personal care and home health services. Furthermore, this requirement could result in the States being found as joint employers under the new Fair Labor Standards Act companionship rules, resulting in significant unfunded costs being imposed on the States. This requirement, which is harmful and burdensome to both individuals and the States, cannot pass into law.
Electronic Visit Verification Impedes the Rights of People with Disabilities and Seniors
EVV is based on the archaic and offensive idea that disabled people and seniors are unable to leave their homes. However, the majority of our nation’s laws that have been passed in the past 3 decades regarding people with disabilities are based on the presumption that people with disabilities are not only capable of living active lives in the community, but it is our right to do so. Receiving services to assist us to live independently in the community does not make us any less active in our communities, on the contrary, the services we receive are provided to us with the precise purpose of helping us to be more active in our communities. People with disabilities and seniors who receive services are students, employees, volunteers, athletes, artists, and voters. We speak many languages, we go many places, and participate in and add to the richness of our communities. Beyond our opposition to the EVV requirement on principle, we oppose this requirement because our lives are not congruent with EVV systems, which are essentially government tracking systems for Americans with disabilities and seniors: these systems that would require us to stay at home all day, and speak and understand one language, or be accused of fraud. [Read more…]