Medicaid Cuts Hit Defenseless Children
May 27, 2012
The race to cut Medicaid spending is taking a toll on our most defenseless children. Legislators are considering cuts in the Medically Fragile and Technology Dependent Children’s Waiver, which allows children to receive specialized nursing care at home instead of being condemned to life in an ICU or institution.
These children live on ventilators, have special health care needs and most have developmental disabilities. This service allows children to spend time with their families, go to school and live life outside doctors, tests and sickness. As far as reducing Medicaid spending, home care is one-third the cost of hospitalization or institutionalization and the average enrollment period is just five years.
These changes are contrary to the governor’s Rebalancing Initiative and the basic tenants of the Olmstead decision, which supports children with their families and adults close to family and friends.
We’ve been promised that the most vulnerable citizens would be protected under Medicaid reform; that seems to have been forgotten.
This isn’t as simple as reducing spending on a line item — every dollar cut for disability programs alters lives and can send families into financial ruin. Stop the changes in the Medically Fragile and Technology Dependent Children’s Waiver. These children need to remain at home.
— Tony Paulauski, executive director, The Arc of Illinois
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423