The Autism Society, the nation’s leading advocacy organization for individuals with autism and their families, affirms that individuals with autism and other disabilities should be entitled to a full range of Medicaid health care and long-term care supports and services. The health, functioning, independence, and well-being of 10 million individuals living with disabilities, as well as their families, depend on funding from Medicaid services. It is important to protect Medicaid expansion, as it provides coverage for individuals with autism who previously fell into health care coverage gaps. The Autism Society believes that in order to preserve a vital safety net for people with autism, Medicaid must be protected from drastic cuts and structural changes, such as efforts to block-grant or cap the program. Federal cuts in Medicaid will force states to cut services and put the health and well-being of individuals with autism at significant risk.
The Autism Society believes Medicaid is an essential lifeline and supports the following principles for individuals with autism and their families:
• Maintain the individual entitlement to a full range of Medicaid health care and long-term care supports and services for all eligible children and adults with disabilities.
• Oppose Medicaid deconstruction or any moves to provide states with flexibility that would eliminate basic protections for eligible individuals with autism and other disabilities, or impose entitlement caps, block grants or other proposals that shift costs to states or cause reductions in eligibility, services, and protections for our constituents.
• Encourage state implementation of the Medicaid expansion in states that have not already expanded.
• Encourage state implementation of the option in state Medicaid plans for families of individuals with autism to buy into Medicaid if private health insurance is not available or does not meet their needs.
• Ensure that Medicaid eligibility rules and processes do not place undue burdens on applicants and beneficiaries.
• Ensure that Medicaid-eligible children with autism and other disabilities continue to obtain health-related services during the school day and receive any necessary transportation to those services.
• Ensure protections for people with disabilities who are dually eligible for Medicaid and Medicare to ensure that they have timely and affordable access to all medically necessary services, supports, and medications under Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare prescription drug plans.
• Protect the entitlement to the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT) program.
• Promote the development of legislation consistent with the goals of personal choice, personal responsibility, integration and independence.
• Protect Medicaid from any deconstruction or moves to provide states with flexibility that eliminate basic protections for eligible individuals with autism and developmental disabilities. States should not have to consider limiting services and supports, and/or cutting reimbursement to providers, in order to save money.
• Improve Medicaid so that benefits are portable from state to state and families are not deprived from moving from state to state.
Adopted by the Autism Society Board of Directors, 7/12/2017