Support Medicaid Reform and the Olmstead Decision sign now


I, Nicholas Dupree, and the signers of this petition, believe that Americans who need nursing care should be able to live independent of a nursing home. Currently, many state Medicaid programs pay for children to receive home care but when individuals reach the age of 21, the age limit for the EPSDT program, they are left without viable alternatives. I am facing such a crisis when I turn 21 in two years.

I have a rare form of muscular dystrophy. I am ventilator-dependent and I am quadriplegic in the sense that I can't move any of the "quad," the four limbs. However I can move my mouth to talk and move my fingers to use my trackball to click on my onscreen keyboard to type this. I'm much like Christopher Reeve only without the loss of feeling. I require constant care and skilled medical supervision.

The state provides for nursing home care for those like myself but I would be unsafe, separated from my family and denied my college education. Being in the state of Alabama, I will be sent to a nursing home hundreds of miles away from my home. This is obviously wrong for me.

I and the undersigned urge you to push for better implementation of the Olmstead v. L. C. decision, in which the Supreme Court ruled that care services must be provided in the least restrictive environment under Title II of the ADA. We also ask that you support MiCASSA (the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act) in Congress. The bill would give Medicaid recipients a choice between nursing home care or home care. People choosing home care would have the option to receive a voucher or direct cash payment to pay for their care. Home care is less expensive than care at an institution since at home rent and other household expenses are covered by the family. A project similar to MiCASSA in New Hampshire has netted the state a savings of 15 percent (US News and World Report 04/23/01).

We hope that you will work to ensure that those of us requiring long term care are not neglected.

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Annette CaldwellBy:
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