Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Abercrombie wants to cut Medicaid services??????

I just posted this on Civil Beat, but wanted to share it here as well.  I posted it in response to their article covering Governor Abercrombie's "State of the State" speech.

I am completely floored that Abercrombie would say "the rising cost of health care also requires that we cut back on benefits provided to Medicaid patients."

Why don't we stop paying out around $15 million a month in profits to UnitedHealth and Wellcare? Cutting budgets doesn't have to mean cutting services, when the middlemen are only spending eighty-four cents of every federal and state dollar they get, keeping the other sixteen for themselves.

Part of "the rising cost" is because both companies received another increase in their capitation rates in July.

When is Abercrombie going to notice any of the federal investigations going on over at Med-Quest? The DD Division of DOH already admitted a federal audit caught them at a form of Medicaid fraud.

And as long as state salaries are public, has the new DHS director thought about reducing Fink's salary back to that of his predecessor? On the other hand, I hear she was on one of his selection committees, so maybe not.

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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.