DRP condemns House changes to Medicaid

Disability Rights Pennsylvania (DRP) condemns the repeal of the Affordable Care Act released by the United States House Energy and Commerce Committee because the legislation will harm persons with disabilities.

The committee’s proposal would fundamentally alter Pennsylvania’s Medicaid program. Within the repeal of the Affordable Care Act is a shift to a per capita Medicaid program.

This shift would mean a significant loss of federal Medicaid dollars to the state’s health choices and waiver programs that serve children, adults and seniors with disabilities because of the way federal funds will be used to support state services.

The loss of federal funds would grow larger each year under this proposal. Medicaid is a jointly funded program with matching state and federal funds.

Under a Medicaid per capita cap, the federal government would set a limit on how much to reimburse Pennsylvania.

Unlike current law, funding would not be based on the actual cost of providing services.

Congressional leaders say this proposal provides more flexibility to the states to operate Medicaid; however, Pennsylvania already has flexibility to run our waiver programs.

This flexibility talk is simply code for more stringent eligibility requirements and the potential loss of critical medical and mental health services, prescription drugs, community supports, personal care services, employment services and longer waiting lists.

It is a disservice to people with disabilities and the country to take away the very services that allow access to the community and potential employment.

Peri Jude Radecic

Chief Executive Officer

Disability Rights