Recently, I blogged about a serious threat to adults with developmental disabilities who wish to live as independently as possibly, and in their communities rather than in institutions: cuts to MassHealth. The particular programs singled out to be reduced were Adult Foster Care, which provides funds for live-in caregivers to keep people in their homes, as well as DayHab, which provides therapeutic day programs to people. I also sent a letter to Governor Deval Patrick in January about this same issue. And on February 22, I went to a hearing with perhaps 60 other adult service providers and clients to give testimony about how devastating these cuts would be, and how mean-spirited they are, considering how little real revenue the specific cuts would give back to Massachusetts. (I say cut the MCAS spending instead, the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment “System,” which is really just one standardized test that determines graduation in Massachusetts!!!!! The citizens of poorer towns and cities, ESL students, and students with disabilities tend to be penalized and kept from graduation because of the MCAS, regardless of how they perform in their entire career of school.)
Anyway, today I got word from The Arc of Massachusetts that the MassHealth cuts are on hold. Here is the text of the Arc message:
Thank You Governor, Secretary Bigby and MassHealth Director Dougherty!
After listening to stakeholders, the administration has decided to hold on the MassHealth rate reductions for Day Habiltitation, Adult Foster Care and Adult Day Health. A special thanks to the Governor and his administrative team.
Although the possibility of reductions during this fiscal year continues (through June 30), we hope that they will be less likely as each week progresses. Thank you to those that helped educate our leaders about the impact of the reductions.
For 2012, we need to look to our legislative leaders and the rank and file, who supported our programs for this fiscal year. We need to make sure that the programs are fully funded.
We encourage you to thank Governor Patrick, Secretary Bigby and Director Dougherty. We appreciate the time they took to meet and review the issues as well as their responsiveness.