The last episode of IN Focus aired August 2013; the page below is an archive.
The WFIU/WTIU news team continues its coverage of local and regional issues
in a new weekly program, Indiana Newsdesk.
July 22, 2010
State Cuts to Medicaid Waivers
Indiana Medicaid Waiver Program
A panel of experts discusses Indiana’s Medicaid Waiver program and the effects recent funding cuts have had on its services.Watch Video »View Article
Fifty million Americans are enrolled in Medicaid programs throughout the country. Many people with disabilities who are enrolled are still not receiving support due to lack of funding. Indiana’s current billion dollar budget is not enough. 17,500 Hoosiers are on waiting lists to receive Medicaid waivers, which pay for home and community-based services, and some may have to wait ten years or more to receive them. Leslie Green of Stone Belt and Kim Dodson of Arc of Indiana talk about the Medicaid funding cuts and how they are causing struggles at their organizations.
John Dickerson, also of Arc of Indiana, goes on to explain how the Medicaid program works in Indiana. He considers the program one of the most important in the state. Maureen Gahan of Stone Belt goes into further detail about the cuts the organization has received and how the organization has been suffering as a result—Stone Belt is unable to provide as many individualized services and entire programs have been eliminated.
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Tags: Arc of Indiana, Bloomington, David Orentlicher, Disabilities, Funding Cuts, Governor Mitch Daniels, Group homes, Home and community-based services, Indiana, InFocus, Institutionalization, IUPUI, John Dickerson, Kim Dodson, Leslie Green, Maureen Gahan, Medicaid Funding, Medicaid Waivers, Medicare, Stan Jastrzebski, Stone Belt, Waiting Lists, WFIU, WTIU
Medicaid Waiver Waiting Lists
A panel of experts discusses the problems with the long Medicaid Waiver waiting lists and how preventative services would benefit families.Watch Video »View Article
Host Stan Jastrzebski asks about Hoosiers falling through the cracks when it comes to receiving Medicaid services. John Dickerson discusses the waiting lists and how their length—sometimes up to fifteen years—surprises people signing up. He goes on to explain how certain federal and state rules are preventing organizations such as Arc of Indiana from better using their time and money with the individuals who need services. He says reform is needed. David Orentlicher mentions another big issue in the legislation, K-12 funding. That issue has strong vocal support from parents and teachers, whereas individuals with disabilities don’t have as many advocates.
Maureen Gahan of Stone Belt returns to the waiting lists, explaining that when people are told there are 22,000 people ahead of them, waiting for services, it discourages them from signing up. David Orentlicher points out that other Medicaid services, such as those for single parent families, don’t have a waiting list system and entitlements are just given. He says the system should work those with disabilities.
John Dickerson wants to focus on preventative activities instead of waiting until there is no choice but to get help. Maureen Gahan agrees, and says that preventative activities would also help alleviate family stress.
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Tags: Advocacy, Americans with Disabilities Act, Arc of Indiana, Bloomington, David Orentlicher, Disabilities, Funding Cuts, Group homes, Home and community-based services, Indiana, InFocus, IUPUI, John Dickerson, Maureen Gahan, Medicaid Funding, Medicaid Waivers, Medicare, Stan Jastrzebski, Stone Belt, Stone Belt Milestones Division, Waiting Lists, WFIU, WTIU
Solutions and Changes for the Medicaid Waiver Program
A panel of experts discusses possible solutions and changes for Indiana’s Medicaid program in helping individuals with disabilities.Watch Video »View Article
Host Stan Jastrzebski asks the panel if they have come up with any possible solutions, such as privatization, to the Medicaid funding problem. David Orentlicher believes privatization works for certain services like toll roads, but not for a program of this kind. John Dickerson is looking for help from legislators and says that another round of cuts to community-based services organizations would be devastating. He thinks legislators are getting the message. Maureen Gahan is hopeful the cuts will end next year.
As for solutions, David Orentlicher suggests linking the program to another program that has a wider or more visible reach. Maureen Gahan closes the program on what she calls a philosophical note, saying that as a society, we need to rethink who really needs our support.
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Tags: Americans with Disabilities Act, Arc of Indiana, Bloomington, Changes, David Orentlicher, Disabilities, FSSA, Funding Cuts, Group homes, Home and community-based services, Indiana, InFocus, IUPUI, John Dickerson, Maureen Gahan, Medicaid Funding, Medicaid Waivers, Medicare, Privatization, Solutions, Stan Jastrzebski, Stone Belt, Waiting Lists, WFIU, WTIU