With time and money quickly running out, advocates are pushing for passage of a bill that would extend a federal program that moves people with disabilities from institutions to community living.
Congress is scheduled to recess for the year shortly, while every state will run out of funds for the program known as Money Follows the Person by the close of the month, said Nicole Jorwic, director of rights policy at The Arc.
The holdup is really figuring out how to pay for it, but the urgency remains clear to everyone we talk to on the Hill because the money will be out by Dec. 31. Money Follows the Person allows states to help people with disabilities transition from nursing homes or other institutions to an apartment or small group home by paying for programs not normally covered by Medicaid such as employment and housing services.
The bill, called the EMPOWER Care Act, or H.R. 5306, would reauthorize the program for one year at $450 million, but advocates said a short-term extension could be in the works so more time can be spent next year finding long-term funding.