Sunday, June 24, 2007

State waiver system frustrates families of disabled

There was an interesting article in today's Muncie Star and Press about the Indiana Medicaid Waiver here to read the article.

I thought there was some interesting things in this article. Here are my comments on a few.

1. For 22-year-old Chris Eldridge, who has Down's syndrome, six years is how long he's been on a waiting list for one of the state's developmental disabilities waivers.

Response: Here in the US the proper name is Down syndrome, you would think a reporter could get it right.

2. The waiver is what his parents, Tom and Connie Honn, need to ensure Eldridge is cared for by the state when they die. It's also the document he needs to work full-time at Cannon Industries, the industrial division of Hillcroft Services, East Central Indiana's support services agency for the developmentally disabled.

Response: No wonder people are confused. First of all the waiver gives the individual the funding for services now and throughout their lives. There are many other items like a "Special Needs Trust" that lay out a families wishes on their child's life after they are gone. I would not just leave it up to the state.

The other issue that bothers me a great deal is that the waiver is a document that someone needs to go to work. This is absolutely false. If someone wants to go to work they can make that transition on their own, they can apply and receive services thru Vocational Rehabilitation which will fund the support services they need to find, be trained and be success full at the job they choose. What they missed is the Waiver is needed for Cannon Industries to get paid to offer services at their SHELTERED WORKSHOP. Now if that is what the family wants that is fine but the only thing the waiver does is get Hillcroft paid from the state. That does not prevent the person from attending Hillcroft for services...they can start right away but the family would have to pay privately for these services. Plenty of info left out of this section.

The article goes on to talk about many things the State of Indiana is going to do this and do that....under Governor Mitch Daniels administration we have heard lots of talk about more funding for waivers, improved quality and better services....What is Mitch Roob at FSSA's famous line....Better...Faster...Cheaper....or if all else fails we will give a big outside contract to one of our buddies to see what they can do to make money....

Someday individuals with disabilities and their families will unite and realize that together we could be the largest voting block in the United States and instead of always fighting for funding for IDEA, NCLB and Medicaid and Waiver services we could actually start putting together a plan that works.

Ok, if there is any elected officials out there that read this and say Ya, ya but what is the plan. Drop me a response and I will get you my contact information and I will be very happy to sit down and explain a plan that will work.

Let's get organized, let's get out and vote and let's get involved in policy making and stop all this frustration.....


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