As the U.S. Senate contemplates plans for reductions in the Medicaid program, ROC individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities could face a drastic reduction in services.

The Senate is considering cuts and caps to the current program where funding for ROC home and community-based services would be affected. The senate is considering approximately $830 billion in cuts to the Medicaid portion of the American Health Care Act, now called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, which was recently proposed by Congress.

Medicaid is the primary source of funding for services that assist those with disabilities, providing protection from being forced into institutions. The primary focus at ROC is to provide the individuals served with the greatest amount of independence possible, while enabling them to live self-supporting and rewarding lives.

“Our concern and the concerns across the country are that “traditional” Medicaid programs for the aging, blind and disabled will be cut and viable services to these neediest populations will be effected, which are not part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA),” said Judy Watson, ROC Chief Executive Officer.

“The proposed legislation would put a cap on the money the state receives from the federal government in one of two ways; paying a block grant or a per capita rate to the state. Either will be devastating to rural states like Arkansas,” Watson noted.

“The services that ROC and other programs provide to individuals with disabilities are optional state services under Medicaid, which means these would be some of the first services to receive cuts if the state receives less money,” continued Watson.

“We are asking everyone interested in retaining the current services to individuals with disabilities in Southwest Arkansas and throughout the state to contact Senator Tom Cotton’s offices and voice your opposition to these deep Medicaid cuts.”