1. Access to Needed Services
Individuals with disabilities have the same hopes and desires as their non-disabled peers. They want to be healthy, safe, and participate actively in their communities. Doing so often means reliance on multiple public programs and services, be it Medical Assistance, Metro Mobility, or Vocational Rehabilitation Services. In many cases, a person may need all three of these programs to be functioning properly in order to keep a job and earn a paycheck. Access to essential programs and services is critical for individuals with disabilities to live successfully in the community and maximize their health and independence outcomes.
2. Empowerment and Choice
Minnesotans with disabilities and those who support them ought to be held accountable for their decisions, but need and deserve to have control over the support services they require to maximize their ability to function as productive and contributing members of society. Increased choice will also influence market forces so that services to people with disabilities are made on the basis of quality, not just cost. Certain options now exist within the Medical Assistance program, such as PCA Choice and Consumer Directed Community Supports, that are consistent with this philosophy, which must also include enough policy oversight to ensure the safety of program participants. Providing information to consumers so that they can make informed decisions – especially financial decisions – is critical.
3. Quality of Care
Access to services and choice of providers will only be meaningful if there are high quality services and providers to choose from. Quality of care is not just a function of state regulations and oversight, but also of targeted state investments in critical disability services.