The State of Nebraska should reinstate planned cuts to the Medicaid program to better serve children and low income families, several health care advocates say.
Members of several advocate groups spoke Monday at the Capitol
in favor of a bill that would prohibit the implementation of $28
million in planned cuts to the Medicaid program.
Officials from the Nebraska Chapter of the American Academy of
Pediatrics, Building Bright Futures and the Nebraska Association of
Behavioral Health Organizations say the cuts hurt people that need
help the most.
John Cavanaugh is the executive director of Building Bright
Futures, a group that started in 2006 to assess the needs of youth
in Douglas and Sarpy Counties.
He says restoring funding to Medicaid is critical to improving
the lives of low income Nebraskans.
"We believe that there are other services available," said Vivianne Chaumont, DHHS Medicaid Director. "We have many clients who are in fact more expensive in the community then they are in a nursing facility."
"I'm a human being with hopes and dreams like everyone else," said Jody Falyt. "The recommendations made by DHHS will have a profoundly negative effect on my life. By allotting such a ridiculous minute amount of hours to home health it works out to be basically less than 20 minutes a day. I will be reduced to having to choose one visit a day.
Senator Jermey Nordquist's bill would repeal the original budget cuts to Medicaid, and declare and emergency, meaning the act goes into effect when it's passed and approved. Dozens testified in support of the repeal.
"What we believe we have is access to the home, community based services," said Vivianne Chaumont. "Which would allow the clients to be served at an even more efficient way in the community as opposed to going into the institution or the way we currently fund the programs now. For instance home health aids."
For Brenda Delancey these cuts and changes would change her life, and her son, Jackson's.
"While my family and friends love Jackson dearly," said Brenda Delancey. "Not one of them feels comfortable to watch him. I rely on private in home nursing to help me with that. This is a huge liability for someone with non-medical experience to come in and watch someone who is completely ventilator dependent. his life depends on one mistake."