The Real Impact of Cutting Medicaid Just When We Need It The Most

Harold Pollack

First published 5/5/11 on Kaiser Health News

An excellent Chicago Tribune story by Rex Huppke details the impact of cuts to home and community-based services in Illinois. Huppke recounts the story of 81-year-old Lorraine Phifer, who cares for her son William, who has cerebral palsy. Phifer has a wheelchair van, but she can’t maneuver him into it by herself anymore. He has also required help with a wheelchair lift to get into and out of bed. Staff from the University of Illinois at Chicago Assistive Technology Unit have come out to the Phifer home and provided valuable help. That unit now faces a 70 percent budget cut.

UIC’s intellectual disabilities family clinics, which offer a range of services that are hard to access elsewhere, also face deep cuts. My intellectually disabled brother-in-law occasionally uses these facilities, too. I am not a disinterested observer.

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