In The Politics of Autism, I discuss health care issues and state Medicaid services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
In 1965, the federal government made a promise to children with disabilities and from low-income families: They would have health coverage. In 2017, the federal government is about to break that promise. The Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 jeopardizes children’s access to health care because it no longer guarantees health coverage through the Medicaid program. Instead, the bill caps the federal government’s funding for children’s health care, leaving innocent children, who cannot control what family they are born into or what ailments they are born with, at the mercy of appropriators.
While the bill does take some positive steps toward protecting children, including exempting children with disabilities from per capita caps, those children are still at risk. Once the federal government limits Medicaid funding, states will need to make up the difference or limit the services or the number of Medicaid enrollees to stay under the federal cap. And they are likely to do this through across-the-board cuts, which will affect all Medicaid enrollees, including children with disabilities.