I can remember one of my first years coaching we had a LD case that talked about eugenics and my students and I had a lot of discussion about how we need to treat people that have a disability and how that we have improved since the 1950s. It appears that the state of Florida did not.
Florida health care regulators have acted with "deliberate indifference to the suffering" of frail and disabled children by offering parents no "meaningful" choice but to warehouse their children in nursing homes along with elders, the U.S. Department of Justice says in a lawsuit against the state filed Monday morning.
The Justice Department's civil rights division accused the state of violating the landmark 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act — which forbids discrimination against people with special needs — by funding and managing its community programs so poorly that hundreds of children have been forced to live — and sometimes grow up — in institutions for the elderly....
It adds: "Many of the institutionalized children remain in facilities for very long periods of time, even when it is apparent that their medical conditions would permit return to the community with appropriate supports."
The lawsuit, aimed primarily at the state's Agency for Health Care Administration, the Department of Health and the Department of Children & Families, follows several months of in-depth reporting on the children's plight by the Miami Herald....
To a large degree, the controversy is over money: Even as Florida health administrators have increased the payment for pediatric nursing-home beds by close to 30 percent — the state will now pay about $550 per day for a child in a nursing home — the state has relentlessly cut services for families struggling to care for a severely disabled child at home.
Reimbursement rates for service providers in the community have remained stagnant since 1987, the suit says, resulting "in shortages of nursing services in certain parts of the state."
And three years ago, lawmakers simply cut $6 million from a program that pays for private-duty nursing care for Floridians who wish to remain outside institutions.
This is a disgrace. A shameful, shameful disgrace. I have no idea how anyone can defend such practices.