Speaking out for People with
 Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

VOR joins in call to U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, to support individual choice and an inclusive definition of “community”

September 27, 2013

Sixteen state and national organizations, including VOR, sent a letter to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of health and Human Services’ (HHS), and Marilyn Tavenner, Acting Administrator for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), and a separate letter to James K. Haveman, Director of the Michigan Department of Community Health.

Coordinated by the Madison House Autism Foundation, the signing groups called on Secretary Sebelius and Administrator Tavenner, and Director Haveman, to embrace principles in support of individual choice, as required by Olmstead, and to reject a definition of “community” which would prevent innovative housing options.  The letter was in response to the Arc of Michigan, which asked these officials to halt funding for “congregate” options.

HHS/CMS is currently reviewing a proposed rule that, if finalized, would so narrowly define community that many current and future housing options for people with I/DD and autism would be denied Medicaid funding under its home and community based services programs.  Groups joining the letter to Secretary Sebelius and Administrator Tavenner have been outspoken opponents of the proposed rule.

Read the groups’ letter to Sebelius and Tavenner

Read Tavenner's Response (November 12, 2013)

Read the groups’ letter to Haveman

Read related blog by Jill Barker, VOR’s First Vice President and Board Member (Michigan)

Read Nevada Congressional Delegation's Letter Objecting to Rule

Read Congressman Mike Thompson's (CA) Letter Objecting to Rule

Read Letter from Congressman Bill Huizenga (MI)

Read Letter from Senator Mike Johanns (NE)

Read Letter from Congressman David Loebsack (IA)

Read Letter from Congressman Jeff Fortenberry (NE)