The bipartisan Commission on Long-Term Care met last week in Washington, DC and held a public hearing on Populations in Need of Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) and Service Delivery Issues. Dr. David Braddock, Executive Director of the Coleman Institute for Cognitive Disabilities and Senior Associate Vice President of the University of Colorado System was invited to testify. Dr. Braddock is well known in the intellectual and developmental disability (I/DD) community for his work on the State of the States in Developmental Disabilities, a report, now in its 35th year, of state spending for services for people with I/DD.
In his testimony, Dr. Braddock spoke of the need for more investment in supported employment and family caregivers. He noted that families are at the nexus of any future policy decisions that impact the I/DD population. Dr. Braddock went on to note that this year was the first in which there was a decrease in public spending on services and supports for individuals with I/DD. Despite this, Dr. Braddock highlighted the progress that many states have made in closing their state institutions; there are now 14 states without public institutions in the United States. Dr. Braddock also pointed out the difference in cost for an individual with I/DD living in an institution, which averages about $220,000 per year, compared with $26,000 per person per year in a supported living setting. The demand for residential services will continue to grow according to Dr. Braddock.