On July 7, the Conference Committee lowered state budget line items– including DDS — due to the continued uncertainty of state revenues. On July 17, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed an additional $320 million on top of the legislature’s reduction, including a cut of more than $7 million from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) budget. The impact of these reductions means uncertainty for many people. These decisions were also affected by the continued uncertainty caused by Capitol Hill policy makers. Although we believe that the legislature will override the Governor’s vetoes, we don’t know for certain and, of course, will advocate for further dollars given the needs of people who are served by the Department of Developmental Disabilities.
As many of you realize, the Senate version of the Health Care bill was released yesterday, June 22. Unfortunately, this bill also severely cuts Medicaid and health care coverage provisions as in the House bill. The bill includes deep Medicaid cuts and focuses on reducing premiums (Ted Cruz says they are NOT low enough in the Senate bill) but neglects long-term impact on out of pocket and premiums for those who have existing health conditions like people with disabilities.
More than 10 million people with disabilities rely on Medicaid to live in their community, receiving basic services.