Sunday, January 23, 2011

What can you buy with $1.1 billion a month?

Six insurance carriers are profiting $1.1 billion a month from their state and federal contracts for Medicaid and Medicare.

If that money wasn't going for company profits, what else could it pay for?

For one thing, it would provide somewhere between 142 to 228 hours a month of personal assistance services to every one of the 370,000 people currently on waiting lists for Medicaid home services.

As of October 1, 2010, the Affordable Care Act has given states the ability to do away with their waiting lists completely for Medicaid services by implementing what is called a Section 1915i waiver.  The number refers to the section under Title XIX of the Social Security Act.

The problem is with corporate Medicaid taking over state contracts at an average growth rate of eleven percent in fifteen months, that $1.1 billion is just going to keep increasing, while the people on the waiting list continue waiting.

Do you think this is a good use of federal and state funds destined to help people with disabilities?  If you don't, please take our poll and let your voice be heard.

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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.