Hanbidge, Policy Committee look at Reducing HCBS Waiver Waitlist Times

LANSDALE, Aug. 15 – State Rep. Liz Hanbidge, D-Montgomery, held a House Democratic Policy Committee public hearing today at the Towamencin Township Building to discuss reducing the Home- and Community-Based Services Waiver Waitlist.

“I’m glad we are choosing to shine a spotlight on the HCBS Waiver Waitlist, which is standing in the way of over 13,000 Pennsylvanians from receiving essential support services,” Hanbidge said. “By waiving their right to institutional care, individuals with disabilities on the waiver waitlist are opting to save our commonwealth billions of dollars but often receive no critical support services in return for years. This is unacceptable. After hearing from many stakeholders and activists at my Policy Committee Hearing, I am encouraged that we can make reducing the HCBS Waiver Waitlist a reality.”

Hanbidge requested the hearing to discuss ways to reduce the wait times for individuals with disabilities, and the most vulnerable amongst us. She was joined by state legislators from across the state, including Policy Committee Chairman Mike Sturla, D-Lancaster.

“Many of those on these waitlists are in desperate need of care and there should be no reason they have to wait for their support services that could potentially save their lives,” Sturla said. “I’m glad that Representative Hanbidge has worked with us to draw more attention to this backlog so that we might find a way to relieve it and get taxpayers the access to services they’ve paid for and deserve.”

Testifiers included Jeremy Yale, Director of Bureau of Policy and Quality Management, Office of Development Programs, Pennsylvania Department of Human Services; Sheila Stasko, Director, PA Waiting List Campaign; Paul Stengle, Chief Executive Officer, The Arc Alliance; and Jamie Ray-Leonetti, Associate Director of Policy, Temple Institute of Disabilities.

This hearing is among a series being held across the state on House Democrats’ Plan4PA, focused on putting people first by growing good jobs, providing health care access, creating quality schools and providing training for jobs in a fair economy. More information about the plan is available at www.plan4pa.com and hearing materials are at www.pahouse.com/policycommittee.