Will health care reform affect Medicaid?
Posted on August 18th, 2009 by Katy
It came as no surprise to those of us here at Easter Seals to hear the very first question at President Obama’s health care town meeting in Montana last Friday. It came from a woman who has a son with autism — she is worried about her son’s health care.
I’m an MSU student. I have a son that suffers from many disabilities. He’s disabled for the rest of his life. He’s 11 years old. He suffers from autism. He has been sick with these ailments ever since he was nine months old. My question to you is, I rely heavily on his Medicaid to support good health care for him. What, with this reform, would happen with his Medicaid?
When it comes to health care, Americans with autism and other disabilities are arguably the most vulnerable population in the nation. Easter Seals believes that health care reform must guarantee that all Americans, including people with autism and other disabilities, have access to high quality, affordable health care that meets their individual needs.
In June, Easter Seals staff testified before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP), telling them that meeting the needs of people with autism and other disabilities is an important component of health care reform. Mary Andrus, Easter Seals Assistant Vice President for Government Relations and Co-Chair of the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities’ Health Care Task Force, told committee members that, “an essential element of health care reform is ensuring that vulnerable populations have access to coverage that meets their care needs.”
It sounds like her message got through to the top. At the health care town hall meeting on Friday, President Obama responded to the concerned mother by first thanking her for sharing her story. Then President Obama told her how lucky her son is to have such a heroic mom. After waiting for the applause to die down, the president answered her question about Medicaid.
If you currently qualify for Medicaid — your son currently qualifies for Medicaid, he would continue to qualify for Medicaid. So it would not have an impact on his benefit levels and his ability to get the care that he needs.
Please contact your lawmakers and urge them to support health care reform that promotes quality health care for people with autism and other disabilities.