Letters to the Editor

Disabled need Medicaid

More than 238,000 Kentuckians with disabilities receive Medicaid, including 15,889 with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities who rely on Medicaid for home and community-based support.

Kentucky receives more than $820 million in federal funds to provide support and services that individuals with disabilities use to live in the community.

Over the last two decades, funding for home- and community-based services has grown because of bipartisan support; disability knows no political, geographical, ethnic or socioeconomic boundaries. The services provide dignity to people through such aid as assistance with meals; bathing, dressing and toileting; in-home skilled nursing; and communication support.

We fear that because home- and community-based services are optional and waiver services, states will cut them first if confronted with this greatly reduced federal commitment. The per-capita cap proposal will pave a path backward to institutional care and segregated services.

We must call on Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul to continue the 52-year commitment to providing health care and long-term services and support to people with disabilities.

Stella Beard

Executive director

The Arc of Kentucky