It's About Life in the Community
Congress continues to debate healthcare legislation -- including cuts and caps to Medicaid that will significantly impact individuals living with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With a vote expected next week, stay up-to-date at The Arc of NC's policy blog and contact your representatives!
The following letter from The Enrichment Center's Executive Director, Valerie Vizena, was published in the Winston-Salem Journal on June 29:
"People I know and love in Winston-Salem are losing sleep over one issue in Washington, D.C. The fate of many individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families hinge on Medicaid’s future, which may be decided by Congress.
More than a health program, Medicaid is often the only payer of modest community-based supports for people with significant disabilities. With a little help from Medicaid, qualifying individuals with I/DD receive specialized supports in the community, develop increasingly independent living skills, contribute to their communities and even join the workforce. For over 50 years, Medicaid’s successful state/federal partnership has changed lives.
Currently the federal government pays $0.67 of every $1 North Carolina spends on qualifying individuals with significant disabilities in the Medicaid program. This is a great return on investment by any measure: community-based Medicaid limits costly, segregated institutional care, keeps families together and in the workforce, creates opportunities for individuals with disabilities and employs professionals statewide who deliver high quality, specialized services. Health policy experts across the board agree that cutting or capping Medicaid will shift an insurmountable financial risk to states, forcing deep cuts in a program that saves lives.
This is a program that is pro-family, creates jobs, keeps families in the workforce and treats individuals with disabilities with the respect they deserve. Please protect Medicaid!"