Saturday, September 12, 2009

Petition to force DHHS to track state spending of stimulus funds for Medicaid

So far, the states have received over $28 billion in stimulus funds that can only be spent on Medicaid. Meanwhile ten states are either under investigation by the feds or have class action and civil suits pending, all based on allegations that state cuts made in Medicaid home and community support services are violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act, as well as, possibly, federal Medicaid law. It's reached the point where state Medicaid officials will blatantly bully and threaten a mom with taking away her child. I know, because it happened to me last week. Our petition is asking DHHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to reverse the CMS ruling on July 7, 2009, that cuts in medicaid services did not violate the MOE requirement of Section 5001 of the ARRA. We are also asking that DHHS enforce federal laws that are in place to protect the civil rights of the elderly and Americans with disabilities, and ensure that states use stimulus funds to restore cuts made in services since last July 1, 2008. Please consider signing our petition.

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About Me

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I'm the mom of a child with disabilities. Hannah's first neurologist said she might never develop beyond the level of a 2 month old infant, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. The brain damage was just too severe. Nine years later, she walks, uses a touchscreen computer and I've just been shown she can learn to construct sentences and do simple math with the right piece of technology. Along the way, I discovered I needed to teach myself what Hannah's rights to services really were. Learning about early intervention services led to reading about IDEA and then to EPSDT. I've been waiting for the Obama administration to realize the power and potential of EPSDT for the medical rights - including the right to stay at home with their families - of children with disabilities. The health reform people talk about long term care, and the disability people talk about education and employment, but nobody is talking about EPSDT. So I am.