ALBANY Federal statistics show New York has stepped up spending to give the disabled a choice to live outside institutions since a landmark Supreme Court ruling.
The 1999 Olmstead v. L.C. decision said unnecessarily segregating people in mental hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions amounted to discrimination.
Nationally, the percentage of Medicaid funds going to services outside those institutions has nearly doubled since then, with states devoting anywhere from 27 percent to nearly 80 percent of Medicaid long-term care money to home and community services.
In New York, about $5.5 billion, or 40 percent, of the total $14.8 billion allocated for long-term care in 2002 went to home and community services. In 2012, the most recent year with available federal data, that had risen to $12 billion of $23 billion, or almost 52 percent.