Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Help End Institutional Bias

Join your fellow disability advocates for a second national Day of Advocacy this Thursday,
October 8 to ensure the CFC Option and the CLASS Act make it into the final health care reform bill.

You can call using this toll-free number: 866-324-0787. A switchboard operator will connect you directly with the Senate office you request.

In addition to calling your two Senators, the following Senators are influential in the processes of
merging the legislation, and our message must reach them:

  • Jeff Bingaman, New Mexico

  • John F. Kerry, Massachusetts

  • Blanche L. Lincoln, Arkansas

  • Ron Wyden, Oregon

  • Charles E. Schumer, New York

  • Bill Nelson, Florida

  • Robert Menendez, New Jersey

I strongly support the Community First Choice Option and the CLASS Act as a part of
the final healthcare bill in the Senate. I urge the Senator to please support both of these
priorities for people with disabilities as the Senate Finance and HELP Committees merge their bills.


The Community First Choice (CFC) Option was proposed by Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) as a way to get
the key provisions of the Community Choice Act (CCA) in the healthcare reform bill. The option would
encourage states to provide Medicaid home and community based attendant services (rather than require them
as the CCA would do). The CFC Option would be a major step in helping to end Medicaid's institutional bias.
The CFC Option is included in the Senate Finance Committee's healthcare reform bill.

The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act (also called the CLASS Plan) would create
a national voluntary long term care insurance program. It was developed to help people better prepare for their
long term care needs and to help take pressure off of the Medicaid program. The CLASS Act is in the Health,
Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee's version of the healthcare reform bill. The CLASS plan would reduce the
federal deficit by an estimated $58 billion.

Whether the CFC option and the CLASS Act make it into the final Senate health care reform bill is up to us. The time to act is now!

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