Each year, VOR hosts a State Report Forum as part of our events at the VOR Annual Conference. Members and conference participants are encouraged to share their experiences with one another, with the hope that we may learn from one another and gain insights into how we may best address our own challenges.
We are proud to announce that VOR's 2018 Annual Meeting and Legislative Initiative were a resounding success. Advocates from across the country convened in Washington, D.C. to share their experience and solutions with one another, and to meet in the offices of their elected officials to initiate positive change for their loved ones with I/DD.
On July 11th, Mary Lazare, Principal Deputy Administrator and Acting Commissioner on Disabilities at the Administration for Community Living (ACL) spoke at the Autism Society's 2018 Convention in Washington, D.C. During her keynote speech, Ms. Lazare expressed recognition for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICF/IID) as part of the full system of care. While no recording of the speech exists, third hand accounts of Ms. Lazare's comments have spread throughout social media. "Community Only" advocates were outraged, and have raised their voices demanding retraction of her comments and calling for her resignation.
For years, VOR has campaigned against Department of Justice (DOJ) efforts to close Intermediate Care Facilities. These efforts on the part of DOJ have resulted in the deaths of the individuals forced out of their ICF homes and into HCBS waiver settings.
VOR's Peter Kinzler has been working with Representative Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) to find ways to curtail these DOJ actions. On December 6, 2017, Representative Goodlatte sent a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions asking that DOJ "initiate a comprehensive investigation into the causes of the unspeakable number of deaths occuring across the country and suspend activities aimed at displacing fragile Americans from licensed ICFs/IID in good standing."
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) recently published a draft of their Strategic Plan for FY 2018-2022. The plan fails to mention ICF's or to acknowledge the specific needs of people with I/DD.
VOR has submitted point-by-point comments to each of the goals and strategies outlined in the plan.
Right To Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/IID)
Individuals who qualify for Intermediate Care Facilities for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities (ICFs/IID)* under Medicaid have a legal right to such facilities for as long as they remain eligible and choose to do so. Despite a deinstitutionalization effort by those opposed to congregate care, the ICF/IID program remains a legally enforceable federal entitlement under Medicaid. States which have included ICF/IID in their Medicaid State Plans, but instead offer only Waiver services, are in violation of federal Medicaid law.