Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Medicaid Cuts: "A War on Disabled People"

For families affected by disabilities, the threat to Medicaid is one of the greatest concerns about the proposed American Health Care Act. I don't need to rewrite all the information about this, but if you want to understand the risk and how it may affect people with disabilities, here's some recommended reading.

During the campaign, candidate Trump promised he would not cut Medicaid. But boy, has he backed off of that, as shown by the budget estimates from the bipartisan Congressional Budget Office.
Read "Trump Promised Not to Cut Medicaid. His Health Bill Will Cut $880 Billion From It," Vox, March 13, 2017

This headline from Forbes speaks for itself. Citing a column in the New England Journal of Medicine, this article shows that shifting Medicaid to a block-grant program will let states decide who gets services and which services they get. For example, they could choose to deny behavioral health services, which is what people with autism and other developmental disabilities depend on.
Read "A Shift to Medicaid Block Grants is a Threat to People with Disabilities," Forbes, March 9, 2017

This isn't really about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Do you realize that Medicaid covers 57 million people, six times the number covered by the marketplaces created through the ACA?
Read "Sleeper Issue of Medicaid's Future Could Prove Health-Care Plans' Stumbling Block," The Washington Post, March 12, 2017

In the Post article, Bob Kafka, a Texas leader of the national disability rights group ADAPT says he is concerned that cuts to Medicaid would lead to the elimination of home- and community-based services that allow people to live independently -- and force them into nursing homes. "What the Republicans are doing," Kafka says, "is basically a war on disabled people."
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