Every year since 2006, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) — an international advocate, educating and providing support services for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities through an affiliate network– produces The Case for Inclusion, an annual ranking of how well State Medicaid programs serve Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Individuals with ID/DD, including the aging, want and deserve the same freedoms and quality of life as all Americans.
Medicaid affects all of us — children and adults with disabilities, as we are aging, as our family ages, and when the unexpected happens. It is the critical safety net that provides financial and healthcare security, and community supports to Americans with ID/DD, aging, and low-income individuals and families, so that their desired freedom, quality of life and community participation can be fully realized.
4 Key Aspects of a High Functioning Medicaid Program
The University of Minnesota’s Research and Training Center on Community Living identifies the four key aspects of a high functioning and effective Medicaid program, which have also been articulated in a number of legislative, administrative and judicial statements describing national policy.[i] TheCase for Inclusion’s five major outcome areas align, as indicated, with the following four-part holistic approach:
- Promoting Independence – People with disabilities will live in and participate in their communities.
- Promoting Productivity – People with disabilities will have satisfying lives and valued social roles.
- Keeping Families Together & Reaching Those in Need – People with disabilities will have sufficient access to needed support, and control over that support so that the assistance they receive contributes to lifestyles they desire.
- Tracking Health, Safety & Quality of Life – People will be safe and healthy in the environments in which they live.
It is the duty of a civil society such as ours to aid these individuals, who are often the most vulnerable among us.
Yet some States do much better than others in having the needed political will and sound Medicaid policies necessary to achieve this ideal. The Case for Inclusion ranks all 50 States and the District of Columbia (D.C.) – not on their spending – but on their outcomes for Americans with ID/DD.
The Case for Inclusion shows how well each individual State is performing overall; how each state matches up against other states regarding key data measures; and, most importantly, the top performing states with policies and practices that should be replicated.
About the Author
Tarren Bragdon is a nationally recognized expert on health reform issues. He has testified before committees of the U.S. Senate and House; state legislative committees in Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Maine, Ohio, and New York; numerous national conferences; and the American Swiss Foundation in Switzerland. His work has been featured on Fox News, National Public Television, in The Wall Street Journal, and in the New York Post, Boston Globe, the New York Times and on National Public Radio. He served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives on the Health and Human Services Committee and served as chair of the board of directors of Spurwink Services, one of the largest social service providers in Maine.