Friday, July 14, 2017

Letter To Governor Holcomb About the BRCA

Thank you to the organizations and individuals who supported our letter to Governor Holcomb. It will be hand delivered to him and Senator Young and Senator Donnelly today. We appreciate your advocacy.

July 14, 2017

Office of Governor Eric Holcomb
State House
Room 206
Indianapolis, IN 46204-2797

Dear Governor Holcomb,

The undersigned organizations and individuals are all dedicated to ensuring the health and well-being of children in Indiana, particularly children and youth with special health care needs, and we respectfully urge you to advise Senator Young and Senator Donnelly to oppose the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).

As you know, BCRA will fundamentally restructure and make drastic cuts in the Medicaid program.  Our state will lose billions of dollars in federal funding if this bill is enacted.  Unless state taxes are raised to cover the shortfall, the state will be compelled to cut Medicaid eligibility, benefits, and reimbursement, hurting the 791,659 children in the state who rely on this critical program.  Among these children are 383,000 who have special health care needs.

Please bear in mind that the proposed changes to Medicaid will have far-reaching implications.  Costs will be shifted to other state and local agencies (and hence local taxpayers), health care providers, families, and individuals. For example, costs will be shifted to school districts when Medicaid reimbursement is cut for therapies mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. And, because Medicaid covers children in foster care and those adopted from foster care, costs will also be shifted to adoptive parents, foster parents, and grandparents raising grandchildren as a result of the opioid epidemic. In fact, costs will be shifted to all of the families who rely on Medicaid coverage for their children, and it is likely that some children will actually lose Medicaid coverage completely.

We must point out that the Senate bill’s “carve out” for “blind and disabled” children will fail to protect these children from the effects of drastic cuts in Medicaid funding. In fact, the likely reductions in provider payments will affect these children and others with special health care needs disproportionately, since they rely on specialists who may be forced to shut their doors or stop taking Medicaid patients if reimbursement is reduced.  Medicaid cuts will also disproportionately affect children with special health care needs who receive “optional” services, such as home health care, and those who are eligible through waivers, such as waivers that enable medically fragile children to live at home with their families rather than in nursing homes.

Given its likely harm to the health of our state’s children, particularly those with special health care needs, we implore you to do all you can to prevent BCRA from becoming law.

Respectfully yours,

Family Voices Indiana
Down Syndrome Indiana
Hear Indiana
Hoosier Action
Indiana United Methodist Church Disability Advocacy Team
The Arc of Indiana

Rylin Rodgers, Lebanon
Jennifer Akers, Westfield
Joe Akers, Westfield
Heather Dane, Indianapolis
Jara Dillingham, Newburgh
Nicole Sheridan, Kokomo
Julie Feighery, South Bend
Katie Friedericks, Indianapolis
Cristy James, Avon
Jessica Leigh Carter, Terre Haute
Naomi Horton, Crawfordsville
Kristin Coffey, Indianapolis
Thomas Stone, Noblesville
Marty Stone, Noblesville
Holli Shively, Fort Wayne
Sheri Wagner Reece, Noblesville
Amanda Kling, Auburn
Sally Martin, Santa Claus
Kerry Skeffington, Burns Harbor
Debbie Pedersen, Indianapolis
Phil Pedersen, Indianapolis
Tanya Pedersen, Indianapolis
Jamie Shultz, Zionsville
Danielle Valdez, Lafayette
Jane Scott, Indianapolis
Christine Hire, Fort Wayne
Kathleen Dunn-Child, Indianapolis
Kalli Kobler, Valparaiso
Veronica Maximo, Fishers
Ofelia Jimenez, East Chicago
Amy Hill, West Lafayette
Erica Walker, Fort Wayne
Cynthia Holladay, Fishers
Alicia Halbert, Indianapolis
Cyndi Johnson, Bloomington
Christine Moyer, South Bend

Beth and Brad DeHoff, Plainfield

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