February 18, 2018
As the U.S. Senate prepares to vote on their version of the American Health Care Act (ACHA), it’s important to let your Senators know that you stand with the LD community AGAINST the proposed provisions to drastically reduce Medicaid funding because of the harm those cuts will have on students with learning disabilities and ADHD.
What many people don’t realize is that “Medicaid is the third largest source of federal education funding for states,” says the National Center for Learning Disabilities. “Public schools currently receive $4 billion a year in Medicaid reimbursements to pay for critical health services like speech therapy, occupational therapy and salaries for nurses. If this funding is eliminated, schools will still have to provide these needed services and will have to make up the loss of funds by cutting other programs or raising state and local taxes.”
Understanding the Issue
In a recent blog post, the NCLD explained the issue:
While the federal government support for Medicaid may be going away, the requirements for schools to meet the needs of students are not. Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), schools are obligated to provide medically-necessary services to students with disabilities. For the 1 in 5 students with learning and attention issues, cuts to Medicaid mean further strained resources for getting the help they need to succeed in the classroom.
Because it is the law that these schools continue to provide services for students who need them, schools will be forced to find funding somewhere else. Currently, Medicaid is funded by a federal-state cost sharing model, but the proposed bill would shift much of the financial burden to the states, with one of two outcomes: funds will have to be reallocated from general education programs in order to cover the extra cost, or states will be forced to raise taxes. Diverting funds from other sources in schools does not prioritize the success of all students—instead it forces schools to prioritize one group over the other.
You Can Make A Difference
Click on this link, Take Action Now, to access the NCLD’s page to contact your Senators.
Let your voice be heard on this crucial issue that, if passed, wlll adversely impact children with learning and attention issues, as well as all students in schools that rely on federal funds.