Disabled Children in Texas are the First to Feel the $350 Million in State Cuts to Medicaid

by Walter Einenkel –

Texas Governor Greg Abbott

$350 million in budget cuts to Texas’ Medicaid have gone into effect. Don’t worry though, it mostly affects disabled children’s therapy. We all know that God doesn’t like therapists of any sort—physical, speech, occupational, or psychological.

They reduce revenue for some Texas therapy providers. Opponents say they’ll force providers to close, and could cost roughly 60,000 children access to speech and occupational therapists.   

Health and Human Services Commission spokeswoman Carrie Williams said the cuts were implemented Thursday to “achieve savings,” as directed by state lawmakers.  

This plan was put into place over a year ago by Texas’s brightest lawmakers, and went through a lawsuit that the Texas Supreme Court refused to hear.

The Supreme Court’s announcement means that a lower court’s decision, which found the lawsuit lacked standing, will remain in place, clearing the way for state officials to begin cutting payments to in-home therapists by as much as 25 percent. The Supreme Court had temporarily blocked the cuts from taking effect while it considered whether it wanted to hear the case.

Rachel Hammon, executive director of the Texas Association of Home Care and Hospice, a provider lobby group, said she was disappointed with the high court’s decision and called on Gov. Greg Abbott to intervene.

Governor Abbott is not a good person and asking him to do anything for anybody not named “dollar bill” isn’t going to happen. But don’t worry, the spokeswoman for the Health and Human Services, Carrie Williams—whose job includes putting a bright spin on fetal burial laws—had this to say:

“The most important job we have is making sure kids have the services they need and that we are responsible with taxpayer dollars,” Williams said in an email. “We will monitor the reduction of rates to ensure access to care is not impacted and that Texans around the state receive the much-needed therapies required to improve their lives.”

See? Those words say nice things even if our actions don’t match up in any way imaginable.

 

Reprinted with permission from Daily Kos