Elaine Nell: Why the ACA and Medicaid are important for my family

My husband and I have 5-year-old twin daughters with multiple serious health problems. To keep them comfortable, safe and even alive, our children need extensive medical services and treatment. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid work together to ensure that they get these services without sending our family into bankruptcy. Unfortunately, new health-care legislation currently being rushed through Congress would dismantle the programs and policies that keep my children healthy.

As part of their efforts to repeal the ACA, congressional leaders have included a dramatic restructuring of Medicaid. Under the proposal, Medicaid funding to states would be capped on a per capita (per person) basis. This formula would have devastating consequences, especially for medically fragile children and people with disabilities who often require expensive, ongoing medical treatments.

Before taking any further action, Congress should understand that Medicaid is the primary health insurance program for children and other people with severe medical problems and disabilities. According to the Social Security Administration, as of December 2015, there were 217,523 North Carolina citizens classified as “Blind and Disabled” who received their health care through N.C. Medicaid. Of these, about 20 percent are children with disabilities.

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