Medicaid is under considerable threat in Washington, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) in Pennsylvania stand to lose access to vital services and supports.
Medicaid is the nation’s primary health insurance program for people with disabilities and low-income populations. It is a lifeline for most people with significant disabilities who generally do not have access to employer-based or other private coverage, have greater medical needs and often require assistance with activities of daily living. If Medicaid funds are affected, loss of medical and home and community-based assistance will result in negative consequences for people with I/DD. Waiting lists would quickly grow, and people could be forced into unnecessary institutionalization.
Congress is considering two approaches that will change Medicaid — a block grant to states or enacting per capita caps. As a result of either proposal, states will receive less federal support to administer Medicaid. They will have to consider reducing eligibility, limiting services and supports, and/or cutting reimbursement to providers.
We can’t afford to go back to the era when people with I/DD didn’t have the rights they have today. Medicaid has made life in the community possible for millions of people. It’s a lifeline that cannot be cut. We are better than that as a nation and should not permit this program to be altered in a way that forces us into the past. To share your concern, contact your representative in Congress.
LISA RAZZA Communications Manager ACHIEVA South Side
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