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Your UCP: National September 08, 2003

People with disabilities may receive benefits from several federal health programs. Medicare covers a broad range of health services for people with permanent disabilities as well those 65 or older, although it does not cover most prescription drugs or long-term care. Medicaid covers people with disabilities who have low incomes by supplementing Medicare and providing certain long-term care services.

Like Medicaid, the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) is jointly funded by federal and state governments. SCHIP covers children in low-income families ineligible for Medicaid, and (in some states) their parents. There also are federal health programs for specific groups such as veterans and Indians. In addition, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) are federal agencies that fund health research and public health education.

The federal government provides income tax incentives to buy private insurance for health and long-term care services. But the federal government has a limited role in regulating the operation of private insurance, which is done mainly by the states. Nevertheless, Congress is considering the regulation of managed-care health plans such as Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs).

In addition to managed-care patients' rights, Congress may soon act on other health issues, including expanding programs for people without health insurance and adding a drug benefit to Medicare. But with healthcare prices rising faster than overall inflation and the population's rapid aging, adequate funding for federal health programs poses a major challenge.

The Importance of Medicaid to People with Disabilities in Your State
Medicaid Fact Sheet for State Legislators
Medicaid Action Center for Details on Bush Administrations Proposed Changes
Bush Proposes Major Changes in Medicare and Medicaid, NYTimes 2/23/03
Durable Medical Equipment Used Outside the Home Should Be Covered by Medicare Part B
UCP-Supported Coalition Testifies for Patients' Rights in Managed Care Plans
HHS Launches National Family Caregiver Program
Homebound Clarification Act of 2001
HHS Helps People with Disabilities Live in the Community, Awards Major Grants
Self Directed Support Corporations (SDSC)
Coverage of Pregnant Women and Newborns Under The State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) Urged by UCP
Major Victory in the Fight for Greater Coverage of Assistive Technology
Understanding Medicaid Home and Community Services: A Primer
SCHIP Coverage for Prenatal Care
Surgeon General Releases Report on Improving the Health of Persons with Mental Retardation
Proposed Changes to Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information
2002 Task Force Report: A Call for Action
HHS Launches New Pediatric Drug Safety Initiative
On ADA Anniversary, President Announces Expanded Medicare “Homebound” Coverage Policy
Senate Passes UCP-Supported Amendment to Increase Federal Medicaid and Social-Service Funding
Secretary Thompson Announces Creation of the HHS Office on Disability
HHS Approves New York's Request to Expand Medicaid
GAO Releases Report on Nursing Home Quality, June 2003
Ten Questions: On the Role of Medicaid for Persons with Developmental Disabilities in the United States
President's New Freedom Commission on Mental Health Releases Report
Medicare Increases Nursing Home Payment Rates
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