Leader Pelosi, Dems Release New State Reports on Disastrous Effects of GOP Healthcare Bill on Children with Disabilities

Jun 27, 2017
Press Release

Leader Pelosi, Dems Release  New State Reports on Disastrous Effects of GOP  Healthcare Bill on Children with Disabilities


Members Meet with Patients and Families at Children’s National Medical Center


Washington, D.C. (June 27, 2017) – Today, top Democrats in the House of Representatives released state-specific reports examining the devastating effects that Republican efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and slash Medicaid funding would have on children with severe disabilities and special health care needs who rely on these programs to survive.

The reports, prepared by the Democratic staff of the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform at the request of Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, find that Republican efforts to fundamentally restructure the Medicaid program would have particularly harmful and lasting effects on children with severe disabilities and other special health care needs, despite the fact that these children have done absolutely nothing to warrant such treatment.

“Republican efforts to repeal the ACA and slash the Medicaid program threaten the ability of children with severe disabilities and special health care needs to access care at home, in school, and at medical facilities throughout the country,” the report finds.

Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, along with Reps. John Yarmuth, Eleanor Holmes Norton, John Sarbanes, Jamie Raskin, and Pramila Jayapal released the reports for their home states of California, Kentucky, the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Washington after they toured Children’s National Medical Center and met with patients and their families. More than half of the patients at Children’s National are on Medicaid.

The reports provide information on the negative effects of these Republican proposals on children with special health care needs. In Maryland, for example:

  •          About 200,000 children have special health care needs such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and autism. These children come from all backgrounds, and families with the lowest household incomes have the highest incidence of children with special health care needs.  
  •          Approximately 18% of families in Maryland who have children with special health care needs report facing financial difficulties as a result of their children’s health care needs.
  •          Approximately 32% of children with special health care needs in Maryland rely wholly or partially on public insurance programs such as Medicaid. Many qualify based on their parents’ low household income; a small fraction qualify based solely on their disabilities.
  •          Because children with special health care needs often require intensive long-term care and support services, on average they are about 12 times more costly to state Medicaid programs than children without such needs.
  •          In 2011, Maryland spent approximately $20,700 for each child who qualified for Medicaid based solely on a disability.

Last month, House Republicans passed a bill to repeal the ACA, reverse its Medicaid expansion, and drastically limit future Medicaid funding. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) reported that the Republican House bill would slash Medicaid funding by $834 billion over ten years and leave 14 million fewer Americans with health insurance through Medicaid. The President reportedly stated that the Republican House bill was “mean” and that he wanted the Senate to pass a bill with “heart.”

However, the Republican Senate bill would harm Medicaid even more profoundly than the House-passed bill by further restricting the growth rate for future federal funding.  The Senate bill would disguise these larger cuts by delaying their implementation until later years, but the CBO score released yesterday found that the Senate bill would leave 22 million more Americans uninsured by 2026, including 15 million Americans who would lose their Medicaid coverage. 

The Children’s Hospital Association—which represents 220 children’s hospitals and describes itself as “the voice of children’s hospitals”— has openly opposed the Republican ACA repeal bill, stating that “at its core, the bill is a major step backward for children and their health,” and “children’s hospitals across the country call on senators to reject this bill, a bad bill for kids.”

115th Congress