By Dania Douglas, Director of Public Policy and Advocacy - Disability Network
On Friday, December 6, Senate Finance Chair Chuck Grassley (IA) and Ranking Member Ron Wyden (OR) announced a bipartisan agreement that would include a permanent funding reauthorization for the Money Follows the Person Medicaid Demonstration Program (MFP) as part of the Prescription Drug Pricing Reduction Act of 2019. Lutheran Services in America has long supported the MFP program and thanks our national network’s health and human services organizations for their relentless advocacy to reauthorize this critical program.
First authorized by the Bipartisan Budget Agreement of 2005, MFP has helped over 90,000 seniors and people with disabilities transition from institutional settings back into the community. Studies of the program demonstrate it has been enormously successful, helping to improve quality of life for program participants and to save important Medicaid dollars. A series of short-term extensions by Congress over the past calendar year has helped keep the program afloat, yet a long-term extension is critical for the stability of the program.
Introduction of a bipartisan proposal to permanently fund MFP is a milestone achievement that is the result of persistent, ongoing federal advocacy by groups like Lutheran Services in America and our national network. We are excited to see Congress reach this milestone, and eager to continue our advocacy efforts to ensure that a long-term funding extension of MFP becomes reality.