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Statement of Angela F. Williams, Easterseals Inc. President and CEO on President’s Fiscal Year 2019 Budget

February 12, 2018

Easterseals is deeply disappointed that the President’s fiscal year (FY) 2019 budget proposes to repeal the Affordable Care Act and to significantly cut Medicaid, a program that millions of children and adults living with disabilities rely on for health care, long-term services, and community supports. Easterseals opposes the Trump Administration’s Medicaid per capita cap and block grant proposals that would remove the federal funding guarantee that currently exists in Medicaid. The Administration projects its combined Medicaid proposals would represent a more than $1.4 trillion cut over 10 years in essential care and long-term supports that are currently available through Medicaid for children and adults with disabilities and other Americans.

Easterseals is also concerned by additional program cuts proposed in the President’s FY 2019 budget that will seriously jeopardize access to key services for people with disabilities and other most-in-need populations. The President’s budget proposed a significant cut to the Department of Labor, including the elimination of our country’s only job training programs for older workers. The budget also recommends cuts to programs at the Department of Health and Human Services aimed at addressing the needs of people with developmental and other disabilities. The President’s last budget recommended many of these same cuts, which Congress has rejected in its draft FY 2018 appropriations bills.

Easterseals, however, is pleased that the President’s budget includes strong investments for early intervention services and preschool supports for children with disabilities as well as services to assist homeless veterans in their reintegration into society, including the labor force.

Individuals with disabilities and other most-in-need populations served by Easterseals rely on government services to live, learn, and work in their communities. These essential supports are often only available through the federal government. The President’s FY 2019 budget would make it harder for individuals with disabilities and others to access the services and community supports they need to maintain their health and independence. Easterseals looks forward to working with Congress in the appropriations process to stop these harmful cuts and proposal.

About Easterseals: Easterseals provides exceptional services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people with disabilities can live, learn, work and play in communities nationwide. Easterseals has been the indispensable resource for children and adults with disabilities and other special needs and their families for nearly 100 years. From child development centers to physical rehabilitation and job training for people with disabilities, Easterseals offers a variety of services to help people with disabilities address life's challenges and achieve personal goals.

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