Saturday, April 23, 2011

Tell your Congress member to keep Medcaid funding intact

From the NDSS:

Action Needed
Contact your Senators and Representatives in their home offices over the Congressional break, April 18-31st.  They will be in their home districts so you will have access to them.  Visit or write and tell them how important it is for your child to be able to access HCBS.  If they hold town hall meetings, make sure you attend and tell your story.  Personal stories are important.  Talking points can include the following:
  • Individuals with disabilities will be forced into costly institutional programs if HCBS are lost.  This is unimaginable in the 21st century.
  • Individuals with disabilities can live in the community, work and become taxpayers at much less expense than costly institutional care.  They need supports to do so.
  • Medicaid reform is needed and we are willing to work with them to make it happen.
Developing a final budget will be a long process and the dialogue with your legislators should begin now!
If you have questions, please contact Susan Goodman at

On April 15, 2011, the House of Representatives passed a budget resolution by a vote of 235 – 193.  A budget resolution is not a law but a blueprint for the budget that is eventually developed by both houses of Congress.

The drastic Medicaid cuts and restructuring proposals within the recently passed House Budget Resolution, called The Path to Prosperity would  likely, if they became law, deny individuals with disabilities the medical and long-term support services they need to live and work in the community by capping the amount spent on the program.  This would lead to “block grants” or “global waivers.” 

block grant is an unrestricted federal grant and would mean that a significantly lower amount of funding would come from the federal government each year.  The states would have the discretion to decide who to enroll, what services to provide and who is eligible. 

The likely result of capping the amount of funding would be that individuals with disabilities would be forced into institutions as the only option for care.  This is unimaginable in this day and age given what we know about the great potential of individuals to live and work in the community and at much less expense to the taxpayers than institutions.

Some of the services, referred to as optional services, funded by Medicaid and the Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) Medicaid waiver programs which could be lost include:
  • health insurance coverage
  • supports to live in one’s own home including:  assistance making decisions, paying bills or other tasks involved in managing a home
  • job supports
  • speech or language services
  • transportation
  • communication aids

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