Dear editor,

Living life in your own home is something many of us take for granted. For people with disabilities, funding a key federal program can mean the difference between being in their own home and being isolated in a nursing home. 

Medicaid requires states to provide care in nursing homes, but home and community-based options are, unfortunately, optional. The federal Money Follows the Person, or MEP, program has been the solution for more than 91,000 people since its inception. 

First authorized by President Bush in 2005, with strong bipartisan support, MFP helps individuals with disabilities and seniors who want to move out of nursing homes and back in their communities. It's been implemented in 44 states. But funding is running low — Congress has to act to keep the program going. 

Providing long-term care in the home costs less than institutional care. Average monthly expenses for MFP participants declined by almost 25% in the first year after transitioning from a nursing home to a home and community-based setting. 

Ask Senators Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul to support the EMPOWER Care Act and continue the commitment to life in the community for people with disabilities. We've made great progress away from institutional settings, and into the community — don't send us back.

Sherri Brothers The Arc of Kentucky 

Chris Ryder The Self Empowerment Network 

Frankfort

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