Action Alert! Urge Senators to Protect Medicaid Funding to SchoolsScott Rothschild
Kansas schools receive approximately $46 million in Medicaid reimbursements that could be put at risk as the U.S. Senate writes legislation this month to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). State education leaders should contact Senators Pat Roberts and Jerry Moran immediately to urge the Senate to explain the impact of Medicaid funding.
Many Kansas children receive speech, physical therapy and behavioral therapy at school via special education services mandated by their Individualized Education Plan (IEP). Schools then apply for and receive Medicaid reimbursement for many of those costs. If Kansas schools lose Medicaid reimbursement for those services, they will be forced to shift the costs for those services to state and local funding sources.
In May, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which was designed to repeal and replace Obamacare. Kansas Representatives Roger Marshall, Lynn Jenkins, Kevin Yoder and Ron Estes all voted for the bill. One provision of the bill allows states to no longer consider schools as eligible Medicaid providers, meaning that U.S. schools would still have to provide services for disabled students, but would not receive roughly $4 billion in Medicaid reimbursements for those services, potentially forcing them to shift those costs to state and local funding sources.
The House bill also would cap total Medicaid dollars available to states. State officials would then have to choose among various programs if Medicaid costs grow faster than the federal cap.
Following passage of H.R. 1628, U.S. Senate leaders reacted coolly to the bill and said they intended to write their own legislation. Several recent media reports, however, suggest the Senate may try to push through a bill that resembles the House measure, and without public hearings, before the July 4th Congressional recess.
While the Senate’s draft bill, which is not publicly available, apparently contains some favorable amendments, it still imposes a per-capita Medicaid allotment funding structure.
Although the Kansas Legislature recently added $12 million in special education funding to its new school funding formula, that amount would be quickly outstripped by the potential loss of Medicaid reimbursements under a federal cap in aid. Furthermore, the school funding bill has not yet been signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback and still faces review by the Kansas Supreme Court.
Contact information for Roberts and Moran follows:
Roberts: Phone: 202-224-4774
Moran: Phone: 202-224-6521