Fifteen years after a landmark Supreme Court ruling on giving the disabled a choice to live outside institutions, Florida remains near the bottom in terms of progress.
The 1999 Olmstead v. L.C. decision says unnecessarily segregating people in mental hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions amounts to discrimination. Advocates for the mentally ill, older people and the disabled cite the ruling in arguing for home- and community-based care.
Florida is ranked behind 46 other states and the District of Columbia in its allotment of Medicaid money to non-institutional care. It earmarked about 35 percent of Medicaid long-term care funding to home and community services in 2012, up from about 26 percent a decade ago but well below the national average.