DHS grants help states improve homecare

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Sunday, October 26, 2003

October 27, 2003

WASHINGTON - The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services recently announced more than $33 million in grants to states and other organizations to help develop programs for people with disabilities or long-term illness.

These grants are part of the Bush administration's New Freedom Initiative, a nationwide effort to integrate people with disabilities more fully into society.

"These grants will help people with disabilities exercise meaningful choices about how and where to live their lives," said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson. "They reflect our strong commitment to remove barriers to equality for the 54 million Americans living with disabilities."

The 75 grants awarded this fall are intended to provide states with the funding to make lasting improvements to their home and community-based service programs.

In January 2003, President Bush proposed $1.75 billion to be allocated in the FY2004 budget for the five-year New Freedoms program, which was launched in 2001.

A proposal in the budget plan included a "Money Follows the Individual" re-balancing demonstration. The program would assist states in developing a strategy to "re-balance" their long-term care systems so that there are more cost-effective choices between institutional and community care options.

More than $6.5 million of the $33 million awarded went to "Money Follows the Individual" plan. States receiving money for this program were California, Maine, Texas, Washington, Michigan, Nevada, Idaho, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

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