Fifteen years after a landmark Supreme Court ruling, Wisconsin has doubled the percentage of Medicaid funds it dedicates for services to disabled people outside institutions.
The 1999 Olmstead v. L.C. ruling declared that unnecessarily segregating people in mental hospitals, nursing homes and other institutions amounted to discrimination. The decision gave disabled people the choice to live outside institutions.
Spending increased in all states, including Wisconsin.
In 2002, the state dedicated 28 percent of Medicaid funds to services outside institutions. That figure rose to 60 percent as of 2012, the last year for which numbers were available from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Nationally, the share of Medicaid long-term care spending over the same period rose from 28 percent to 50 percent.