Opportunities and Choices
Recently, the Department of Justice (DOJ), and the Administration for Community Living (ACL) issued press releases celebrating the 17th Anniversary of the Olmstead decision. VOR shares their view that there is much to celebrate in opening doors to community living for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) who are able and wish to take advantage of such opportunities. Unfortunately, their ideological preoccupation with one key part of Olmstead, community integration, at the expense of the other key part, choice, has reduced options for all people with I/DD. This crimped and, VOR would submit, inaccurate application of the plain language of Olmstead has done significant harm to many of our most disabled citizens.
People as Pendulums: Deinstitutionalization and People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities
By Tamie Hopp, VOR Director of Government Relations & Advocacy in Nonprofit Quarterly, July 16, 2014 (and reprinted in the Summer 2014 Nonprofit Quarterly Print edition)
Early reforms were quite properly motivated by the need for a system of care and supports that responded to the very individualized and diverse needs of the entire population of people with I/DD. These reforms, however, also set the stage for decades of ongoing deinstitutionalization, resulting in the elimination of specialized housing, employment and education options for people with I/DD, leaving some to question the price of “progress.”
At the beggining of every Congress, VOR delivers a letter to the members of the House and Senate, welcoming them to work on behalf of the people of this country, introducing ourselves, and outlining our issues.
The U.S. Department of Justice recently issued a request for comments, in response to Executive Order 13777, which requires federal agencies to to evaluate and implement measures to lower regulatory burdens on the American people, Specifically, the Executive Order directs each agency's Regulatory Reform Task Force to identify regulatory actions that do the following:
(i) Eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation;
(ii) are outdated, unnecessary, or ineffective;
(iii) impose costs that exceed benefits;
(iv) create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with regulatory reform initiatives and policies;
(v) are inconsistent with the requirements of the Information Quality Act (section 515 of the Treasury and General Government Appropriations Act, 2001, 44 U.S.C. 3516 note), or OMB Information Quality Guidance issued pursuant to that provision, in particular those regulations that rely in whole or in part on data, information, or methods that are not publicly available or that are insufficiently transparent to meet the standard for reproducibility; or
(vi) derive from or implement Executive Orders or other Presidential directives that have been subsequently rescinded or substantially modified.
On August 14, VOR submitted comments.
On March 14, 2017, Secretary Tom Price and CMS Administrator Seema Verma sent a letter to the Nations' Governors concerning their goals for making changes to Medicaid.
VOR President Caroline Lahrmann wrote back in response to Secretary Price and Administrator Verma. Administrator Verma replied on August 2nd.