Just In: Health Care Includes Community Choice!
From the ADAPT Community Choice Listserv (9/22/09):
The Community First Choice (CFC) Option has been included in the Chairman's Mark. This means that the CFC Option amendment offered by Senator Schumer is incorporated into the Senate Finance Committee bill and won't need to be debated or approved by the Committee.
Yes! You read that correctly! Yeah! Yippee!
Of course the language needs to be in the final version approved by the Committee and full Senate, but this is a HUGE step forward.
(Can you hear Dawn Russell in Denver screaming with joy?)
As we get more details, we will keep you informed, but it will be important to thank Senator Baucus (MT) and David Schwartz (from the Senate Finance staff) who made this happen. We also appreciate the efforts of Senator Schumer (NY) for submitting the CFC Option amendment and Senator Harkin, our Senate champion who has tirelessly fought to eliminate the institutional bias.
We have more work to do, but this a great step forward!
The cost of the CFC Option is estimated to be 1 billion dollar for 5 years. There is a sunset provision. This means that after the five years, Congress will need to go back and approve keeping the CFC Option in place. This should not be of any great concern one way or another at this point.
Another great feature of the Chairman's Mark language is that the MFP program would be modified to move the basic eligibility for MFP of needing to be in an institution for six months down to only needing to be in for 90 days.
Please contact your Senators and let them know that you support this language and that it is critical they keep it in the final version they approve. You can call using this toll-free number: 866-324-0787. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.
Keep up the good work!
On behalf of the ADAPT Community,