In The Politics of Autism, I discuss health care issues and state Medicaid services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
"My sense is in the discussion about health care, three things have gotten huge attention: jeopardizing the status of people with pre-existing conditions; the number of Americans that would lose health care, the millions; and premium effects, especially on seniors," Kaine said Thursday. "But I think the Medicaid cuts and the effect on children have not gotten the attention that they deserve.
"If you're a child is in a school system and you have an IEP (Individualized Education Program, a document developed for students with special needs), because you have a specified disability, the school systems are getting reimbursed by Medicaid for most of what they do for youngsters," he said. "If you are the mom of a kid with autism, and the child is getting some special services at an autism provider, that's likely paid for with Medicaid."A Wednesday release from Kaine's office:
Today, U.S. Senator Tim Kaine released a district-by-district report on the importance of Medicaid to Virginia’s public schools and how the $1.3 trillion combined cuts to Medicaid in the Trump budget and the Republican health care plan – known as TrumpCare – would harm schools and the children who attend them. In Virginia alone, for the most recent reporting school years, school districts received nearly $33 million in federal Medicaid funding for school-based services for students. Schools use Medicaid dollars to cover health-related services for eligible children and for services provided in a child’s special education plan under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
The Trump Administration’s proposed cut to Medicaid would put these funds for Virginia schools in jeopardy. In Virginia, more than one million individuals, including 600,000 kids, rely on Medicaid for health care coverage. In schools, Medicaid dollars are used for both primary and preventive care such as vision and hearing screenings, diabetes and asthma diagnosis and management, occupational and physical therapy, nursing care, mental health evaluation and services, special education aides and instructors in classrooms, and other services and personnel provided to students with disabilities.