Michigan leads the nation in honoring the principles of self-determination, meaningful choice, and community inclusion for people with intellectual or developmental disabilities and people with serious mental illness.

Recent budget language that moves funding for the public Community Mental Health services and a non-profit service delivery network to for-profit health plans, put Michigan’s people with disabilities at a critical risk of losing quality community based supports and services.

People with disabilities need a service and support system that:

  • Avoids returning to a medical model of supports and services.
  • Assures independence and integrity in Person-Centered Planning.
  • Maintains a broad range of community services and supports.
  • Reinvests savings from improved health and well-being into additional supports for people with disabilities.
  • Defines “medical necessity” broadly to include measures of quality of life, community inclusion, and competitive employment.
  • Reduces duplicative layers of administration.
  • Is transparent and accountable to the public and the people it serves.
  • Is designed and evaluated through robust stakeholder participation.

Michigan should seize that opportunity to design a system that truly meets the promise of full and equal citizenship for people with disabilities.