Disabled Children Target Of New Texas Budget Cuts: Republicans Cut $350 Million From Medicaid

Yes, republicans only love the fetus. Once its born it’s just so much trash, thow it away. Sad sad day. Of course it still falls on the shoulders of those that voted them in. They love the uneducated… They do not want to take care of children , after they are born. Children dying under Inefficient CPS, cut in food stamp, un insurance list goes on and on . Sad.

New Medicaid cuts have gone into effect in Texas, and the first victims will be disabled children wrote BR.

A program to cut expenses from the state budget was announced a year ago, and one area the Republican-led state legislature chose for the axe was to reduced payments to health care workers who provide necessary therapy for disabled children. These cuts went into effect on Dec. 15.

According to Austin station, KFOX TV, Medicaid reimburses costs for pediatric therapy for disabled babies and toddlers, and the cuts will negatively affect over 60,000 Texas children. The services cut include speech therapy, physical therapy, and occupational therapy, and are provided at a young age in order to allow these children the best possible chance to live a normal life and participate in school programs.

As reported previously in Bipartisan Report, the battle over $350 million in cuts to Medicaid by Texas Republicans has been a year-long battle.

Some Texas providers have already shut down businesses, unable to operate at approved reimbursement rate, which the state has cut by 25 percent.

The Texas Health and Human Services Commission has been sued by both health care providers and parents, and court testimony reveals that a state-ordered study to understand how the cuts would affect the disabled children was never performed.

According to The Texas Tribune, citizens and providers sued to block the budget cuts from taking effect. Included in the plaintiffs were speech, physical, and occupational therapy workers, as well as parents of the children who receive services. The providers argued that the 25 percent cut in payment for services would force them out of business. Unfortunately, the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear the case.

Carrie Williams, spokeswoman for the state’s Health and Human Services Commission, released a statement saying:

‘The most important job we have is making sure kids have the services they need and that we are responsible with taxpayer dollars.’

The commission argues that the cuts will not cause children to lose therapy services, and referred to a study commissioned by the state — which was completed — that found that in-home therapy providers were being overpaid by Medicaid compared to other public insurance programs.

Chief Executive of Texans Care for Children, Stephanie Rubin, countered the state’s justification for the cuts, saying that schools will now be burdened with students who will need more special education services. The advocacy group recently released a report stating:

‘Our communities and our state benefit from ECI (early childhood intervention) as children are more successful and self-sufficient, both as kids and adults. For example, research shows that effective early intervention reduces the need for costly special education services when participating children enter elementary school.’

The report also shows how the recent cuts will affect services for children and their providers:

The Texas Tribune also reports that Texas House Speaker Joe Straus has vowed to reverse the cuts when the legislature returns to work on Jan. 10.

In November, the Republican released a statement saying that he “believes that the reductions have not been implemented well.” Straus said he hopes the legislature will issue changes via a supplemental budget bill, and “welcomes the opportunity to take a thoughtful look at these rates, with access to care being the priority.”

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