Washington, D.C. , May 23, 2017
The Administration’s FY 2018 budget severely threatens the health and independence of low income children and adults with disabilities and their families. Easterseals urges Congress to reject this budget. It disproportionately targets reductions to key disability services programs that allow people with disabilities of all ages to live, learn, work and play in their communities, including:
· Medicaid: the budget calls for per-capita caps or block granting of Medicaid that will reduce essential health and support services to children and adults with disabilities.
· Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income: These programs, slated for billions in cuts, provide critical income supports for people with disabilities, many of whom have disabilities that restrict or eliminate their ability to work.
· Senior Community Service Employment Program: this budget eliminates this program that is the ONLY federal program that assists low income seniors return to work. This cut is in addition to the nearly 50 percent cuts in other federal job training programs.
· Other essential programs that are cut: the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, the Developmental Disabilities State Grants for Developmental Disabilities Councils, the Social Services Block Grant, Universal Newborn Hearing Screening, and the CDC Autism programs.
In total, the Fiscal 2018 budget jeopardizes the health, well-being and independence of people with disabilities. Its policies also threaten the ability of Easterseals affiliates that rely on public private partnerships to meet the needs of their communities.
Easterseals provides exceptional services, education, outreach, and advocacy so that people living with autism and other disabilities can live, learn, work and play in our communities. Easterseals has been helping individuals with disabilities and special needs, and their families, live better lives for more than 90 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.