Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Is Honolulu shooting linked to 36% increase in Medicaid deaths?

Yesterday I reported that the FBI had apparently been notified of a link between Sunday's shooting of a young man who had been unable to obtain his medications since January, and a pattern of Medicaid service cuts that have already brought the state under examination by CMS and the DHHS Office for Civil Rights.

Thanks to Larry Geller of Disappeared News, I have now seen footage of an informational hearing held at the Hawaii Legislature where subpoened testimony said that Medicaid enrollee deaths had increased 36% in 2009 (after UnitedHealth and Wellcare began operations here) over 2008.

The testimony also noted the majority of death were medical and due to the lack of access to services.

How many more of our most vulnerable citizens need to get hurt or killed before a stop is put to these cuts.

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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.