Manchin’s veto of MR/DD waiver language upsets disability advocates; lawsuit in the works

By Beth Vorhees

Disability advocates are angry with Governor Manchin for vetoing language in the state budget regarding in-home care for mentally retarded and developmentally disabled people.

Now, the group Mountain State Justice plans to take the Manchin Administration to court to force the Department of Health and Human Resources to eliminate the current waiting list of 388 children and adults who have qualified to receive care in their homes.

Attorney Bren Pomponio says Manchin’s veto means the state is in violation of a 2000 federal court order. That order says people on this list should not wait longer than 90 days for in-home health services.

“It seems to be aimed at depriving poor people of needed services. I don’t understand it,” Pomponio said. “The governor has a surplus in the Medicaid budget of over $93 million, and the Legislature has seen that the Department of Health and Human resources is in violation of the court order and has sought to remedy that. Despite the surplus, these essential services are being deprived of these people.”

John Law, a spokesman for the DHHR says the governor vetoed the language regarding the waiver list because the Legislature did not attach an amount of money to its directive. Click here to listen to rest of story.

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One Comment on “Manchin’s veto of MR/DD waiver language upsets disability advocates; lawsuit in the works”

  1. Ann M. Says:

    The language in Governor Manchin’s veto message on this states that “the Department of Health and Human Resources is already taking adequate steps to comply with the Court Order”. I would like to know what those steps are?

    There are 388 people on the waiting list – 275 of them have been on the waiting list for over 90 days – many have been on a year or longer. People who apply now and get on the waiting list are being told it will be at least 2 years before they get services.

    The Department did not include any funding in their budget request to address the waiting list. Neither did they ask for approval from the federal Medicaid agency to add more people to the Waiver.

    So what steps have they or are they taking? It seems to me they are ignoring the Court Order and those 388 people in hopes they will just go away!

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