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Children With Autism Could Lose Benefits Under Proposed Healthcare Legislation

By: Cohen, Placitella & Roth @ Aug 18, 2017

Autism is a mental condition that begins during childhood and has an effect on socialization, communication, and understanding of societal norms. Children who have autism may have difficulty in making friends, may remain nonverbal, and may have a variety of behavioral issues. What’s more, autism is often accompanied by other conditions, including mental health conditions, seizures, and gastrointestinal disorders. 

In Pennsylvania, children with autism–as well as children with other development problems–are covered under Medicaid. But if proposed healthcare legislation passes, this could all change. The change could have a very negative effect on these children and their families, who may no longer be able to afford the healthcare that they need.

Why Medicaid Is Important for Autistic Children

The aid that many autistic children need, such as behavior therapy, is too expensive to be afforded by average families, and is certainly impossible for low-income families, as explained by Pediatrician Kate Wallis, MD, MPH. In Pennsylvania, Medicaid provides coverage for about one million children. Further, there are about 55,000 children and adults in the state who receive services for autism spectrum disorder. Many children who receive Medicaid are living in a home where at least one parent is working full time. In many cases, one parent cannot work because the needs of the child are too great, and hiring full-time help for child care would be too expensive. To be clear, the ability to afford healthcare is much more complex than just “getting a job” as many would argue.

If Medicaid Funding Is Cut…

If Medicaid funding is cut, the outcome could be disastrous for the affected children and their families. The proposed healthcare legislation would, if passed, drastically cut Medicaid. It would also cut Medical Assistance Funding, a program that helps families afford co-pays for medical care and pay for behavior therapy options. In addition to the families directly, schools that receive federal funds to help pay for these services in the classroom would also face cuts.

More than Just Children Affected

The information above pertains specifically to children, especially autistic children living in Pennsylvania. But children would not be the only ones affected by Medicaid cuts. Medicaid currently serves approximately one in five Americans, including low-income individuals and about two-thirds of people in nursing homes. Children, disabled people, elderly people, and more would all risk losing important health services if Medicaid is passed.

Our Law Firm Is Here to Support You

At the law firm of Cohen, Placitella & Roth, our experienced personal injury lawyers are in support of Medicaid funding, and urge those in Congress to think twice before they vote for any bill that would so drastically affect the most vulnerable members of society. We will continue advocating for the rights of all patients, and continue to stand in opposition to any Medicaid cuts.

In addition to opposing Medicaid cuts, we want you to know that if the quality of healthcare you receive is negligent, and you consider yourself to be a victim of medical malpractice, our law firm is here to support you. Just contact us today for a free consultation. You can count on us.

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