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“Forgotten But Not Gone” (10/5) aptly describes the horrendous conditions and neglect rampant in D.C. nursing homes. Not only does the District rank among the lowest states in nursing-home maintenance nationally, but it also ranks dead last among the states in providing community-based alternatives under the Medicaid program. These home- and community-based services cost less than half of nursing-home care and are mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, but the District spends only 5 percent of its Medicaid long-term-care dollars on community-based care. The passage of the D.C. Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act (Micassa Bill No. 14-37), now pending before the D.C. Council, will finally enable people with disabilities like Mikel Elmore to get basic services in their own homes.

Bobby Coward

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