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Support for LB 952 – Prohibit cuts to Medicaid services

January 30, 2012

To: Appropriations Committee

From: Aubrey Mancuso, Policy Coordinator

RE:  Support for LB 952 to prohibit cuts to Medicaid services

Voices for Children supports LB 952.  Without LB 952, cuts will be made to important community based services currently covered by Medicaid.

We know that what is best for most children is to remain in their own homes and communities.  Medicaid provides access to community based services, like behavioral health services, that help keep children with their families and help ensure that their families are able to get them the care that they need.  When these services become unavailable, families may be left with limited options that allow children to receive care while remaining in their own home.  Placing limits on behavioral health services that are based on financial considerations rather than the best interest of a child will not only be damaging for the individuals and families impacted by this change but may also result in additional strain on other systems, such as the child welfare system, that may be forced to compensate for services that Medicaid denies.

As this committee is certainly aware, the majority of Medicaid recipients in the state, about 69%, are children and Medicaid provides health insurance for almost one-third of our state’s children.  If these cuts move forward, 184 children will lose access to private duty nursing services, 983 children will lose access to oral nutritional supplements, and 84 children will have limits placed on their access to behavioral health services.  The Medicaid safety net has been cut continually over the course of the past decade.  It is hard to understand why further cuts are necessary at a time in which the state is also suggesting that we have enough additional revenue to provide tax cuts.

We urge you to advance LB 952.  Thank you.

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