ICYMI: Gov. Cooper’s Veto Means Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Are Left Waiting for Care
Raleigh, N.C. — Gov. Roy Cooper’s veto of the state budget continues to hurt those who would benefit from it the most. Yesterday, the News & Observer highlighted the heartbreaking struggle of one family who has been waiting 16 years to receive an Innovations Waiver — a waiver that would allow their son to receive additional home health support services.
The General Assembly passed a state budget that included $22 million to fund an additional 1,000 waiver slots. That means 1,000 families would have had access to home, health and support services they’ve been desperately waiting on.
From the article: “Laura Branan used to call twice a year to ask if her son had moved up on the waiting list.
“Every year she got the same answer: ‘No, he hasn’t moved much.’ The last thing they told her was he was in the top 5% of people waiting. She didn’t know what that meant.
“After repeating this for a decade, she gave up on it. The answers weren’t changing.
“Now in 2020, it’s been 16 years since she and her husband, Andrew, first applied for home and community based services like support staff and therapy for their son Joe.
“He’s an 18-year-old diagnosed with autism who’s still waiting for services that would support him in his basic needs.”
Sen. Joyce Krawiec (R-Forsyth), the chairwoman of the Senate Health Committee, told the N&O that expanding access to waivers remains a priority for the Senate: “Let’s take care of these people who have been on the waitlist for an average of 10 years. I don’t want to see that community get made an afterthought.”
Gov. Cooper’s Medicaid expansion ultimatum prioritizes able-bodied adults, over families who are struggling to get support services for their loved ones with intellectual and developmental disabilities.