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Families say attendant care program is vital. Democrats want Republican leaders to protect it

A podium with a dark blue sign that reads "Protect Medicaid" in white lettering.
Abigail Ruhman
IPB News
House Democrats are calling for Republicans to allow families who provide “extraordinary medical care” to remain in the attendant care program.

Families of medically complex children say proposed Medicaid cuts would take away a vital caregiving resource. House Democrats say these families shouldn’t pay the price for the Medicaid shortfall. They want Republican leaders to protect the attendant care program.

House Democrats are calling for Republicans to allow families who provide “extraordinary medical care” to remain in the attendant care program.

Jennifer Dewitt had a rare complication when she gave birth to her twin sons that resulted in both children developing cerebral palsy. She said the Family and Social Services Administration didn’t take into account the effect these cuts will have on people already lacking resources and support.

“We are parents providing the very best care that we can so that we don't have to bury our child tomorrow,” Dewitt said.

They also want more transparency from the Family and Social Services Administration, including information on how it chose the eight proposed cuts it announced in January.

READ MORE: Lieutenant governor calls for FSSA audit, pause on proposed cuts following Medicaid shortfall

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Previously, House Democrats filed amendments that would pause the cuts and require a report on the $1 billion Medicaid shortfall. Democrats said the Republican supermajority chose to “kill” the FSSA agency bill, HB 1386, rather than discuss what the cuts could mean for the future of Medicaid.

Rep. Greg Porter (D-Indianapolis) said this was a missed opportunity to protect Hoosiers, but his party does not plan on giving up on the issue.

“We're going to look at how to amend some of the bills that are out there right now, to try to get those conversations going forth and be more transparent,” Porter said.

Porter also said if Medicaid stopped reverting and diverting funds they could avoid the eight proposed cuts.

House Democrats join the lieutenant governor and the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Task Force in asking to pause the proposed cuts and for more transparency from FSSA.

Abigail is our health reporter. Contact them at aruhman@wboi.org.

Abigail Ruhman covers statewide health issues. Previously, they were a reporter for KBIA, the public radio station in Columbia, Missouri. Ruhman graduated from the University of Missouri School of Journalism.