Medicaid Cuts Would Force People With Disabilities Into Nursing Homes

Colorado is in danger of losing $14 billion in Medicaid funding, if the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passes.1 The Colorado Health Institute estimates that this will likely cause nearly 600,000 Coloradans to lose their eligibility for Medicaid by 2030. These people would be left with little to no health care options. Those who cannot afford to pay out of pocket for medical services would be forced to go without care, increasing their risk of injury, illness, and mental health crisis.

The bill converts federal funding for Medicaid to block grants and per capita caps, which will likely result in cutting funds from critical programs. While reducing Medicaid, the AHCA would give states more power to minimize health care coverage for vulnerable people. Proposals in the AHCA would also result in an enormous transfer of wealth from low income to high income populations, according to Disability Rights Maryland.

Funding cuts could mean the loss of Medicaid services and supports for close to 100,000 children, adults and seniors in Colorado who live with disabilities.

More than others, people with disabilities are likely to have serious health issues and rely on long-term services in order to work and live in the community. Without long-term services and support, people with disabilities would have no choice but to move into nursing homes, each
person costing the state and federal government $6,900 per month. Many caregivers would have to choose between going to work and caring for their loved one who has a disability. For all the risk cutting Medicaid will pose to human lives, this will not solve problems; it will create new ones. People with disabilities will continue to need financial support, and net savings in federal spending will be required to fund additional hospital charges, and the cost of institutionalization.

Until an alternative solution to Medicaid exists, cutting funding will create drastic consequences in the daily lives of people with disabilities:

• Loss of the basic right to live in the community
• Loss of safety net
• Loss of access to resources
• Loss of hearing aids and other assistive technologies
• Worsening health or disabilities
• Loss of ability to work
• Loss of housing
• Loss of life


Home and Community Based Services for Adults and Children with Disabilities Could Lose Some or All of These Services2

Adults With Brain Injuries
• Adult Day Services
• Behavioral Management
• Day Treatment
• Home modifications
• Non-medical Transportation
• Respite care
• Personal care
• Personal emergency response system
• Counseling
• Specialized Medical Equipment/Supplies
• Consumer directed attendant support services
• Support Living Program
• Transitional Living

Respite Care Adults With Major Mental Illness
• Adult day services
• Alternative care facilities
• Consumer directed attendant support services
• Home Modifications
• Homemaker services
• Non-Medical Transportation
• Personal care
• Personal emergency response system
• Respite care

Adults who are Elderly, Blind and
Physically Disabled
• Community transition service
• Alternative Care Facilities
• Adult day services
• Consumer directed attendant support services
• Personal care
• Personal emergency response system
• Non-Medical Transportation
• Homemaker services
• In Home Support Services
• Respite Care

Adults With Spinal Cord Injury
• Alternative therapies (acupuncture, chiropractic care, massage therapy)
• Transportation
• Home modifications
• Homemaker services
• Personal injury response system
• Consumer directed attendant support services
• Adult Day Services
• Respite Care
• Personal Care
• Personal Emergency Response System

Children With Disabilities at Risk of
Hospital or Nursing Facility Placement
• Case management
• In Home Support Service

Children with Autism that have intensive
behavioral needs could lose behavioral

Adults who Need Supported
Living Services
• Assistive technology
• Behavioral services
• Day habilitation services
• Dental service
• Home modifications
• Homemaker services
• Mentorship
• Personal care services
• Professional services (Hippo, massage, and/or movement therapies)
• Respite services
• Specialized medical equipment/supplies
• Supported employment
• Transportation
• Vehicle modifications
• Vision services
• Personal emergency response system

Adults With Developmental Disabilities
• Behavioral services
• Specialized habilitation, supported community connections
• Dental service
• Prevocational services
• Residential habilitation (24 hour individual or group)
• Specialized medical equipment/supplies support employment
• Transportation
• Vision services
• Case management
• In Home Support Service

Children in the Care of Social Services
• Cognitive Services
• Community Connections
• Communication Services
• Emergency Services
• Personal Assistance
• Self-Advocacy
• Supervision Services
• Travel Services

Children With Intensive Behavioral or
Medical Needs
• Adapted Therapeutic Recreation and Fees
• Assistive Technology
• Behavioral Services
• Community Connector
• Home Accessibility Adaptations
• Homemaker Services
• Parent Education
• Personal Care
• Professional Services
• Respite Care
• Specialized Medical Equipment/Supplies
• Vehicle Modification
• Vision Services
• Youth Day Services

Children With Life Limiting Illness at Risk of Hospital Placement
• Therapeutic Services (Counseling/Bereavement Services)
• Expressing Therapy (art, play, music therapies)
• Palliative/Supportive Care
• Support (Individual/Family/Group)


Tell your Congressman how Medicaid cuts would impact you and your loved ones:
Call Congressman Doug Lamborn: (202) 225-4422
Call Senator Michael Bennet: (202) 224-5852
Call Senator Cory Gardner: (202)-244-6524

Questions to Ask:
1. How will costs for long-term services and supports be covered?
2. Proponents say this will give the states more flexibility to serve the most in need but there are no requirements that states do so. Who determines the most in need?
3. Will the federal government allow a state to decide to only serve the healthy because it is easier and cheaper to serve them?
4. Will the federal government require states to serve people with disabilities including those who require expensive services?
5. How will you as our representative protect the most vulnerable who rely on these services for daily support?3

For more information, visit:
National Council on Independent Living
Colorado Cross Disability Coalition
Colorado Health Institute
Disability Rights Maryland

1 In the next 10 years, Medicaid will lose $880 Billion nationwide
Information adapted from the Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing, effective June 2015 (Children) and December 2015 (Adults)
Questions adapted from the Colorado Cross Disability Coalition