LETTER: Nebraska Needs Better Access To Medicaid For Developmental Disabilities | Letters


I am forever tied to Nebraska. All of my extended family are from northeastern Nebraska. My parents still live there. I went to college at Wayne State. My husband and I worked and paid taxes in Nebraska for 12 years. But our daughter cannot live in Nebraska.

She has Down’s syndrome, which means she needs extensive medical services and therapeutic interventions. If we moved to Nebraska, she would lose access to Medicaid and its home and community services, despite being on the developmental disability waiting list for 7-10 years.

Being able to access Medicaid means we don’t have to choose between speech therapy, occupational therapy and physiotherapy. Can you imagine having to ration care and choose between your child learning to speak or to walk?

The Family Support Waiver, LB376, has reportedly provided another tool to address the 7-10 year waiting list for people with developmental disabilities in Nebraska. Families would have had access to Medicaid and a small budget to pay for respite, specialized child care, and home and vehicle modifications needed for their children. But the Nebraska Unicameral killed the bill this month.

Families were called millionaires profiting from the state. Not true. These are parents trying to provide for their children and hope it won’t cost them their house, marriage and ability to work or cause them to flee to another state that offers them better access to services. I guess the state motto is just “Nebraska is not for everyone”. – Rhonda Haitz, Council Bluffs, Iowa

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