n4a Update 12-16-19
Senators Introduce Permanent Authorization of Money Follows the Person Program
Calls Needed This Week to Drive Passage!
December 16, 2019
A bill introduced by Senate Finance Committee leaders, Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (D-OR), would provide permanent funding for the Medicaid Money Follows the Person Program (MFP), a longtime n4a legislative priority. This action from the Senate follows a 4.5-year extension of MFP that passed the House earlier this year. Congress will have to pass either another short-term extension or act on a longer-term reauthorization of the program by December 31, which is when current funding expires. With a full slate of legislative priorities to finish this week, Congress is more than pressed for time, so advocates need to get loud NOW on the importance of continuing funding for MFP!
Since 2005, MFP has been instrumental in enabling 91,000 older adults and people with disabilities transition from Medicaid institutional settings to the community. However, the last round of long-term funding for the program expired in 2016. As a result, advocates and lawmakers have been working ever since to promote bipartisan bills in the House and the Senate that would provide additional funding for states to continue rebalancing their Medicaid long-term services and supports (LTSS) programs with MFP. While there have been a series of short-term funding allocations for MFP since 2016, permanent future funding is essential to maintain and expand upon the success of MFP.
Two Easy Ways to Take Action
n4a recently signed on to a national organization letter and is participating in a nationwide advocacy effort this week, and we hope you will join aging and disability advocates in telling your Senators and Representatives why MFP is so important to older adults and people with disabilities living in your community! Use the below talking points, but make sure to personalize your outreach with local facts about MFP—which may not be called MFP in your state—and success stories you can share! Make sure to clarify how MFP benefits older adults and people with disabilities in your community—especially if the program is called something else in your state.
- Take part in this national Money Follows the Person call-in effort this week! More information about this opportunity, including a one-pager about Money Follows the Person, scripts and call-in numbers, is available online.
- Engage your grassroots network and community! Encourage your providers, advisory boards and partners, and consumers to take action by engaging your Senators and Representatives, as well. Use the sample text below to encourage stakeholders to call and/or email their Members of Congress.
MFP Talking Points
MFP gives people reliant on Medicaid long-term care programs the right to decide where they live and receive home and community-based services. It provides assistance to help older adults and people with disabilities transition out of institutional settings and back to the community.
Since 2005, MFP has assisted more than 91,000 people with moving back to the community and has helped 44 states improve access to HCBS. MFP is a program that helps everyone win: individuals regain their independence, and state and federal governments save taxpayer dollars because it costs less to provide services and supports in the community rather than in an institution.
Congress must act to extend funding for MFP by the end of the year or states will be unable to continue this cost-effective program that promotes independence for older adults and people with disabilities. Please consider supporting and co-sponsoring a permanent extension of this vital program today!
Thank you for your advocacy on this important issue!