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Tell the Senate that Cuts and Caps to Medicaid Harm Students with Disabilities!


The following Senators especially need to hear from every family: Heller (NV), Capito (WV), Murkowski (AK), Cassidy (LA), and Portman (OH), Collins (ME).


The Medicaid Debate in the U.S. Congress: 

The Senate is trying to bring the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA) to the floor for a vote as early as next week. It is critical that the Senate continue to hear that any bill with cuts and caps to Medicaid harms vulnerable students with disabilities.  


We need to make sure your Senators’ DC phones are ringing off the hook with opposition to cuts to Medicaid.



Call or Email your Senators: Cutting Medicaid Will Hurt Children with Disabilities

  • Call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask for the office of your Senators or  toll-free number (844-USA-0234) and enter your zip code. 
  • Identify yourself as a constituent and the organization that you represent (if any)

  • Find your Senator’s email address: 

In the call or email communicate:

  • I am your constituent.
  • I am the parent of a child with a disability or I am a family member of a child with a disability or I am a professional in the special education field.
  • The cuts to Medicaid in the Senate bill are severe and will be disastrous for the children receiving Medicaid-eligible services. The Senate bill must not adopt these cuts.

  • Medicaid helps me/my family member/my school by ensuring that specialized instructional support personnel and services, important screenings (hearing, vision etc.), vaccinations, diabetes/asthma management, transportation, equipment for special education and other school-based services are available.

  • The Senate health care bill must protect, not harm, children with disabilities.

Background: There is support among Republicans to reduce federal Medicaid spending by over $800 billion by distributing Medicaid funds through a block-grant or a per-capita cap, which would shift costs to states. Block granting Medicaid could result in reduced eligibility for Medicaid and CHIP, coverage of fewer services, lower payments to providers, or increased cost-sharing by beneficiaries — all of which would reduce access to care. Cuts to Medicaid will impact every state, school district/school. Read COPAA's most recent coalition letter to Congress against Medicaid cuts.


Medicaid and Students with Disabilities


Medicaid permits payment to schools for certain medically necessary services provided to children under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) through an individualized education plan (IEP) or individualized family service plan (IFSP). Schools are eligible to be reimbursed for direct medical services to Medicaid eligible students with an IEP or IFSP. In addition, districts can be reimbursed by Medicaid for providing Early Periodic Screening Diagnosis and Treatment Benefits (EPSDT), which provides Medicaid eligible children under age 21 with health screening, diagnosis and treatment services such as vision, hearing and more. Many schools and districts rely on Medicaid to provide services and to pay for certain personnel (e.g. school nurse, aides); to purchase and update specialized equipment; and to purchase and/or provide assistive technology and items needed for each child to access the school curriculum alongside their peers.


In early June, the U.S. House of Representatives passed The American Health Care Act (AHCA) that will result in significant funding cuts to every public school. The AHCA not only repeals and replaces parts of the Affordable Care Act, but changes the way public schools receive Medicaid funds necessary to provide services to students with disabilities. The bill puts $4 billion of Medicaid funding public schools receive annually at risk. COPAA has advocated against these cuts. See how much funding your state will lose under the AHCA




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