Here’s a good idea: Fully fund Medicaid waivers to the cognitively disabled

Hats off to Renee Beauregard of Aurora, CO–who has a smart and humane idea–let’s fund the services cognitively disabled people (and their families) need.

Ms. Renee Beauregard of Aurora, CO posts a smart and humane (albeit costly) proposal on

Fully Fund Medicaid Waivers for the Developmentally Disabled

I propose that if the Medicaid waiver program were fully funded that the action would not only end decades-long waiting lists for people with developmental disabilities, but would also create small businesses and jobs because more service providers would be needed. Funding must be available in all states, portable across and within states and promote self-determination for the individual with the disability, their families and legal guardians. Furthermore, parents who have had to stay home to be caregivers could go back to work, and people with developmental disabilities would also be able to go to work because they would have employment supports to do so. Portability of services across states and counties also should be mandated so that families can, during these difficult times, move to another state and continue to receive services if they had them before. Right now, if a family moves, they placed at the bottom of the new state’s waiting list and can wait many years for services.

As a caregiver who has had the privilege of sitting on those waiting lists, and has had the extra privilege of moving a disabled loved one across state lines, I don’t count as an unbiased observer. If you are into this issue–and you should be–click on the pertinent link and support this effort.

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.