DISABLED CHILDREN: Sliding-Scale Medicaid Coverage?
The Senate Budget Committee heard testimony this week in support of legislation that would allow working parents whose incomes exceed Medicaid eligibility limits to continue drawing Medicaid benefits for their special-needs children, the AP/Nando Times reports. Under current law, families must adhere to strict income limits to qualify for both Medicaid and federal disability benefits. S 2274, sponsored by Sens. Edward Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Charles Grassley (R-Iowa), would allow higher-income parents of disabled children to pay for Medicaid coverage on a sliding scale. "These families are forced to make impossible choices that no parent should have to make," Kennedy said. Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), a parent of a child with Down's Syndrome, is sponsoring a similar measure in the House. Sessions said, "Our family has been fortunate in that Alex has been able to receive the care that he has needed. However, many families face similar situations, without the ability to access the critical health care coverage that their child's disabilities require." Funding for the measure, which would receive $150 million over five years, including $25 million in the first year, was included in a congressional budget resolution approved earlier this year. In addition, Grassley indicated that bipartisan support "bodes well" for the bill's passage this year (Carter, 7/12).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.