VOR Testifies About Cruel and Wasteful HHS Funding for Deinstitutionalization
March 13, 2013
VOR is a national organization advocating for high quality care and human rights for all people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). VOR is not requesting appropriations. Instead, VOR requests the Subcommittee’s support for language to prohibit the use of HHS appropriations in support of deinstitutionalization activities which evict eligible individuals with I/DD from HHS-licensed Medicaid facilities, in violation of federal law. Deinstitutionalization activities, including advocacy, lobbying, class action lawsuits, and other tactics, by some HHS-funded agencies (discussed below) resulting in the downsizing and closure of HHS-licensed are a cruel and absurd use of federal funding. These closures often lead to human tragedy. Medicaid-licensed facility homes, including Intermediate Care Facilities for People with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/ID), are uniquely suited to meet the residents’ profound support, health care and behavioral needs. Tragedies are widespread and predictable when fragile citizens are removed from specialized care. The legally-protected rights of families and legal guardians to serve as primary decision-makers are routinely ignored.