Grassley, Wyden Look to Advance Provision to Improve Independence for Young Medicaid Beneficiaries with Disabilities PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Grassley Press   
Tuesday, 17 December 2013 11:57

Tuesday, Dec. 17, 2013

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa and Sen. Ron Wyden of Oregon said today they will look for ways to advance their provision to improve independent living and community employment for teen-age and young adult Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities.

“We should use the power of the Medicaid and Medicare programs to improve options for people with disabilities,” Grassley said.  “Our proposal promotes creativity and coordination to improve outcomes for these individuals.  I look forward to continuing to work with the Finance Committee on a bipartisan basis and the Congressional Budget Office to make it a reality.”

“There have been too many stories of disabled individuals being taken advantage of in the workplace,” Wyden said. “Our proposal encourages states to use creative and innovative approaches to improve employment equity and help young people with disabilities become as independent and successful as possible.”

Grassley and Wyden sponsored an amendment, which was offered and withdrawn, to the physician payments bill considered in the Finance Committee last week that would create Medicaid bonuses for states that think creatively in coordinating services for the disabled across several programs – including vocational rehabilitation, education, housing, and transportation – that lead to more independent living and employment within the community.  The proposal is directed at individuals ages 14 to 30 years old.

Grassley and Wyden said Medicaid and Medicare are such major programs that they can and should help drive better outcomes for the participating individuals.  The amendment took the approach of using Medicaid funding to create incentives to increase opportunities for youth with disabilities.  With more coordination of health care and support services than exists now, Medicaid could lead to improved health for individuals with disabilities that could lead to independent living and employment.

Grassley and Wyden said they will look for legislative opportunities to advance this proposal in the coming months.

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