Thursday, March 6, 2008

Disability Policy Seminar Wrap Up

Federal Budget/Medicaid

After some technical difficulties, we are ready to give you the update from the Disability Policy Seminar.

This seminar was packed with information. We are going to take the next few days to break down the information based on policy issues presented. Today we are going to take a quick look at the current budget proposal by the Bush administration.

The budget overview is as follows:

-$3.1 Trillion dollars
-$400 billion deficit
-7% increase in defense budget as compared to a 1% increase in domestic spending
-151 Human Service Programs are either eliminated or received budget cuts
-major cuts to Medicare and Medicaid
-Many disability programs are either cut or their appropriations are frozen at FY 2008 levels

-The current budget proposal includes $17.4 billion cuts over five years
-The “savings” will continue the trend of shifting the cost of Medicaid services to the states. Due to the rising cost of health care services more states will be forced to cut benefits, shift costs to beneficiaries or raise taxes.

-President Bush’s current budget proposal includes $178.2 billion in reductions over five years.
-The cuts will jeopardize the health of seniors and people with disabilities. It will force providers to limit the number of beneficiaries and will cause providers to drop out of the program limiting options to beneficiaries.

Our goals and actions:
During the next few weeks and months we will be asking you to call your Senators and Congressional representatives to express your concern for these budget proposals. We will be advocating for increases not cuts to Medicaid and Medicare. We will be advocating for the rejection of any proposal that eliminates programs that assist people with disabilities. We will also be continuing to advocate for a moratorium on CMS rules regarding case management, rehabilitation services and school-based administration and transportation.

Tomorrow we will review the CMS Rules moratorium.

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