DESIGNED BY FREEPIK

Uncertainty Over Healthcare Funding Worries Schools

With many Republican lawmakers and the White House still unable to accept the Affordable Care Act as the law of the land, the ongoing debate may have a direct effect on millions of vulnerable students who are impacted by severe symptoms due to their disabilities. As the future of healthcare hangs in the balance, so does the funding that provides the medical assistance for students during their school day.


Presently, 1 percent of all Medicaid funding goes to schools, representing roughly $4 billion annually. These funds enable most schools to cover any medical needs students might have while at school. In their push to repeal the Affordable Care Act, Republicans are seeking to slash Medicaid specifically an action that would put public schools in limbo and potentially unable to meet the obligations of the 1975Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), which requires schools to do everything they can to meet the educational needs of each student. With the funding currently in place most schools have the ability to cover any medical needs the students might have during the day.

In addition to covering the cost of services such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and personal aides, districts are responsible for further medical expenses, such as feeding tubes or life support. Only 1 percent of Medicaid’s funding is allocated for public education. However, the program is vital to offsetting costs that would otherwise be too burdensome for school districts, especially since never in this country’s history has the federal government provided states with 100 percent of the funding needed to fully support special education. Although recent attempts to repeal or replace both Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act have failed, there is growing bipartisan support to make changes to the broken healthcare system.

Advocates like Sasha Pudelski of the American Association of School Administrators says she fear cuts to Medicaid will give responsibility to the states. “If school districts are competing with hospitals and clinics and other providers for scarce dollars, I don’t see how a governor or state Medicaid director or state legislature is going to decide schools need this money, not a hospital, not a doctor,” she said recently on PBS Newshour.

Republicans would argue that the nation is in a debt crisis and if the country continues to spend more than it earns, its economy will become stagnant. U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan leads the charge among conservatives to shift control to the states and calls for putting caps on the amount of federal money a given state could receive. The Congressional Budget Office estimates 24 million people would become uninsured if Ryan’s plan was implemented. This cap would force states to reduce some eligibility and cut services such as those that would be provided to schools.

Read more news @ DiversityInc.com

Latest News

Southern Company Commits $700,000 To Advance Racial Equity and Social Justice for the AAPI Community

Originally published at southerncompany.mediaroom.com. Southern Company ranked No. 20 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2021.   The Southern Company Gas Charitable Foundation is announcing plans to donate $700,000 across its service territories to charities in support of improving equity and social justice. On the six-month…

Newberg, Oregon

Oregon School Employee Suspended for Showing Up to Work in Blackface To Protest State Vaccination Policies

Racial controversies continue to mount at the Newberg Public School system located in the suburbs of Portland, Oregon. Last week, students in the district’s high school conducted a mock “slave auction” on social media in which they ridiculed fellow classmates and discussed how much they would or wouldn’t pay to…

Marriott International Reports on Its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) Progress

Originally published at news.marriott.com. Marriott International is a DiversityInc Hall of Fame company.   On Sept. 14, Marriott International, Inc. released its 2021 Serve 360 Report presenting data from 2020 and demonstrating its Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) efforts toward the company’s 2025 Sustainability and Social Impact Goals. The Report…