For Immediate Release
September 4, 2018     
Contact: Abby Matienzo, Communications Manager
       703-942-5711 #230

NAELA Welcomes Hearing on Bill to Transition People with Disabilities Back Home
The House Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee will hold a hearing tomorrow, Wednesday, September 5, 2018, on H.R. 5306, the Ensuring Medicaid Provides Opportunities for Widespread Equity, Resources (EMPOWER) and Care Act.

Washington, DC — The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) thanks Chairman of Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health, Michael Burgess (R-TX), for holding a hearing tomorrow on H.R. 5306, the Empower Care Act. 

Introduced by Health Subcommittee Vice Chairman Brett Guthrie (R-KY) and Rep. Debbie Dingell (D-MI), the legislation would renew the Money Follows the Person Medicaid demonstration project (MFP). MFP has helped more than 75,000 seniors and people with disabilities move out of nursing homes and back to the community. Unfortunately, MFP expired on September 30, 2016. All participating states will run out of funding by the end of this year. 
  
The United States has a long, shameful history of segregating and unnecessarily institutionalizing people with disabilities. While progress has been made, many people with disabilities are still trapped in nursing homes due to the fact that the Medicaid program mandates this form of coverage, but makes home and community-based services (HCBS) optional. 
  
“Money Follows the Person is an important component of a bigger goal: that no person should be segregated from society just because they require long-term services and supports,” said NAELA President Michael J. Amoruso, Esq., Fellow, CAP.

About NAELA
Members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) are attorneys who are experienced and trained in working with the legal problems of aging Americans and individuals of all ages with disabilities. Upon joining, NAELA member attorneys agree to adhere to the NAELA Aspirational Standards. Established in 1987, NAELA is a non-profit association that assists lawyers, bar organizations, and others. The mission of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys is educate, inspire, serve, and provide community to attorneys with practices in elder and special needs law. NAELA currently has members across the United States, Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom. For more information, visit NAELA.org, or to locate a NAELA member attorney in your area, visit NAELA.org/FindLawyer.

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