Proposals for Devastating Cuts to Community Services
Medicaid is the federal/state program best known for providing health care services for low-income people, particularly children. The general public is often unaware that many of the recipients are individuals with disabilities from middle class families.
The Medicaid program is the subject of much debate in the national dialogue as drastic deficit reduction measures are being considered. This could mean a devastating blow for people with disabilities - most adults with Down syndrome who have supports to live and work in the community rely on Medicaid funds for the critical support services they need.
People with Down syndrome and other disabilities receive services, based on an individual plan, that can include job support, vocational training, respite services, dressing, taking medication, preparing meals, managing money, making medical appointments, transportation, decision making, and other support needed to maintain a household and live independently.
Medicaid is also the source of funding for health insurance and provides services such as prescription drugs, speech therapy, physical therapy and other health care services. State and federal Medicaid provide 75% of the funding for these services.
One proposal that is being advanced would make the entire Medicaid program a block grant. A block grant is a fixed amount of funding from the federal government to the states. In return, there are virtually no federal rules to govern the program. The states could make all decisions about the program (i.e., eligibility, services). The block grant proposal would cut $810 billion over the next 10 years. States would be left with the responsibility of choosing which group of people would receive services (i.e. elderly, medically fragile, uninsured children, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities) and which would have their services drastically reduced or eliminated.
NDSC is currently working in collaboration with other disability advocacy groups to ensure that people with Down syndrome and other disabilities continue to receive the services they need to live and work in the community.
Resources addressing the Medicaid program can be found at: