Thanks to tireless advocacy, lawmakers across Aspire’s footprint passed budgets with increased funding for developmental services.
Lawmakers in all four states where Aspire operates have approved budgets that increase the funding available for providers of developmental services next fiscal year. These Medicaid rate increases are the result of constant advocacy to help legislators understand, value, and fully fund the vital supports Aspire provides for neurodiverse adults. The increases vary across the states. Some appropriations apply only to certain services, while others offer broader rate increases. Details of the appropriations and their impact on Aspire’s funding are still being worked out.
“We are so grateful to everyone in the Aspire community who contacted their representatives and senators to help advocate for these changes. Our partner organizations, ADDP in Massachusetts, PPN in New Hampshire, the Alliance in Connecticut, and MACS in Maryland did an outstanding job leading these efforts,” said Aspire CEO, Lou Giramma.
Because Aspire relies on Medicaid funding for its services to adults, the organization cannot raise the price of services the way other businesses do to address wages and inflation. Aspire depends on the legislature and governor in each state to vote for increases in Medicaid rates. In some budget years, this happens, but in many years it does not. Long periods without increases have left wages at Aspire and other service providers far behind where they should be, even with this year’s increases.
The opportunity to do meaningful, life-changing things keeps Aspire committed to this essential work, despite this challenge. At the same time, people need to afford housing, food, medical care, and transportation. Excellent employees have left provider agencies like Aspire for jobs in other sectors to be able to make ends meet, creating a critical workforce shortage throughout the field. Aspire is committed to increasing wages and benefits as funding permits. Rates increases approved by the legislature and governors are key to that effort.
Aspire is focused on bringing about change for every person in our community. This means we will continue to advocate for public policy and funding that benefits the people we employ and the people we support to thrive.