January 17, 2018
The Iowa Chapter of the International Association of People Supporting Employment First (IA-APSE) represents individuals with disabilities, family members, and providers of disability services and supports. IA-APSE is committed to community integrated employment of Iowans with disabilities and the impact it has on the quality of life they experience. Iowa has been recognized as a national leader for its advocacy and progress in promoting and achieving community integrated employment for this group of Iowans. The current MCO structure has certainly diminished this standing.
IA-APSE stresses its support for the new Medicaid Managed Care Bill Senate File 2013 introduced by Senators Mathis & Ragan. IA-APSE believes that by pulling the long-term supports and services (LTSS) out of the Medicaid MCO structure, Iowans with disabilities who rely on these services will greatly benefit. Equally important, Iowa will benefit. We know that when an individual works, they pay taxes and use less Medicaid services in the long run.
The 1999 Olmstead Supreme Court decision established the right of persons with disabilities to live in the community with supports, not in nursing homes or institutions. In 2011, the Department of Justice made it clear that these mandates applied equally to work and employment supports.
Medicaid has been the main pathway for improving access to Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS). The transition to Managed Care has resulted in increasing concerns for those under HCBS, including necessary services being denied and providers not being paid agreed upon at rates.
IA-APSE was founded on working with partners to ensure that Iowan’s with disabilities had access to quality employment services and supports. To that end, we partner with stakeholders around the state who share that vision.
Quality employment, as well as quality community living supports, are being threatened by the current MCO structure. We urge Iowa legislators to stand with Iowans’, those with disabilities as well as their families and friends, and support Senate File 2013. Iowans deserve no less.