Republicans have proposed to ‘protect’ children with special health care needs by carving them out from the unsustainable per-person spending caps in the Senate Republicans’ health-care bill. Sounds too good to be true? It is.
Here’s why it won’t work:
Of the 5-6 million kids with special health care needs receiving services through Medicaid, the carve-out will cover less than 30%, leaving the majority of children unprotected. Only children who receive benefits under the SSI program will be included. Children who qualified for Medicaid because of their families’ income or those that qualify for home and community based services because of their very significant needs will be excluded.
The 1.2 million children who do make it into the restrictive carve out will be dropped into the middle of an increasingly underfunded system. Under increased budget pressure we’ll see states cutting eligibility, benefits, and provider reimbursement rates. So, although Medicaid will technically pay for the services these children need they’ll struggle to find them. Providers will close as states are forced to cut reimbursement rates, waitlists will grow, and optional services will be eliminated.
Most kids with special health care needs become adults with special health care needs whose needs don’t magically disappear they day they turn 18. Under the Republican health care bill their support would. Do Republicans think children become unworthy of living with dignity overnight?
The only way to protect children with special health care needs is to reject Medicaid caps.
Help protect children with special health care needs by calling your senators today.