When our current governor and administration talk about how well the privatization of Medicaid is going and how it is saving money, we don’t hear how it is negatively impacting people with intellectual disabilities and the services they receive.
For these individuals, like our son Adam, services drop off when they complete school at 21 years. Those who do not have the ability to further their education and who need close supervision to remain safe and engaged in the community, face real consequences of drastic cuts in reimbursement since Medicaid was privatized.
If you don’t have a loved one with special needs, you may not be aware of the devastating impact on everyday life these cuts cause.
Previously, funding was provided according to an individual’s needs. Now funding is under a tiered system, greatly reducing reimbursement paid to providers. The most appropriate programming for our son as an adult is Day Habilitation. Local providers of this service, due to reimbursement cuts, now cannot provide the staffing needed to maintain his current level of engagement in the community. Under prior funding, he, and many others like him, would be able to make frequent trips to the library, YMCA, bowling, even delivering Meals on Wheels. Under this system, his world will shrink, with fewer opportunities for stimulating activities in the community and decreased interactions. Adam is only one of many throughout Iowa facing this same situation.
Harry Truman stated, “A society will be judged by how it treats its weakest members.”