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ICYMI: Senator Hassan Highlights Devastating Impact Trumpcare Would Have on Students with Disabilities, New Hampshire School Districts

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, Senator Maggie Hassan held a press call to highlight the devastating impact Medicaid cuts would have on students who experience disabilities and school districts across New Hampshire. 

On the call, Senator Hassan was joined by Dr. Carl Ladd, Executive Director of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association, and Mike Skibbie, Policy Director of the Disability Rights Center of New Hampshire, both of whom expressed extreme concern for what cuts to Medicaid would mean for students with disabilities, as well as school districts that would have to make up for lost funding by cutting other critical programs that help students succeed.

See below for highlights of the coverage:

Concord Monitor: Sen. Hassan calls Trump budget, AHCA threats to special education

By Lola Duffort

New Hampshire’s junior senator is slamming the White House budget plan and the Republican proposal to replace Obamacare as a direct threat to services provided to students with disabilities.

“As we know, cutting budgets doesn’t stop people from having disabilities, or stop people from getting sick,” Democratic U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan said on a call with reporters Thursday.

… Medicaid also helps reimburse schools for medical services that are related to a student’s disabilities. Last year, Granite State schools got back a combined $29 million.

The AHCA would cut $834 billion from Medicaid over 10 years. It would also allow states to make schools ineligible to receive the funds, which education advocates worry states will be highly tempted to do if Medicaid is transformed into a block-grant system with limited funding, as the bill envisions.

… “These cuts are part of a continued agenda from this administration, including Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, to target the educational rights of students with disabilities. And it’s truly unacceptable,” she said.

… Hassan was joined on her call with Mike Skibbie, the policy director for Disability Rights Center New Hampshire and Carl Ladd of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association.

Ladd said that, with special education services dictated in large part on state and federal law, cuts to special education funding would have a domino effect on the rest of a district’s budget.

… In a statement sent through Hassan’s office, Concord Superintendent Terri Forsten said cuts to the Medicaid to Schools Program would be “absolutely devastating” and potentially hobble the district’s hopes of rebuilding its middle school soon.

WMUR: Hassan warns Trump's proposed Medicaid cuts would hurt disabled students or downshift costs

By John DiStaso

Sen. Maggie Hassan warned Thursday that big Medicaid cuts in the Republican health care bill and President Donald Trump’s budget proposal would, if enacted, either severely diminish services for disabled students or downshift costs to school districts.

… She said New Hampshire received $29 million in Medicaid funding for schools last year, and, if the Trump administration's propose cuts are enacted, state school districts “stand to lose a minimum of $8.7 million. And that number could grow to be significantly higher.”

… Hassan said, “If you have less resources for Medicaid, school districts would then be faced with cutting other services, including school nurses, behavioral health services, health screenings, equipment and supplies, and after-school programs.

… Dr. Carl Ladd, executive director of the New Hampshire School Administrators Association, who joined Hassan on the conference call, said districts “may have to cut teachers and entire academic programs to make up for the loss of Medicaid funding.”

Mike Skibbie, policy director of the Disability Rights Center of New Hampshire, said the center has “fought to ensure that young people who experience disabilities have access to a quality public education.

“Medicaid funding to school districts is a very important part of making that access possible, providing support to students with disabilities so that they can be fully integrated into the classroom and succeed just like their peers,” he said.

Eagle Tribune: Hassan: Trumpcare would cost NH $8.7M

Senator says plan takes from public school districts, students with disabilities

By Breanna Edelstein 

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan and New Hampshire educational leaders spoke out against Medicaid cuts proposed under President Donald Trump’s health care plan Thursday, saying the cuts to Medicaid would be detrimental for students with disabilities and public school districts statewide.

Hassan said the plan, which recently passed the House as the American Health Care Act but is commonly called Trumpcare, specifically targets special education with a provision declaring that states would no longer have to consider schools eligible Medicaid providers.

Hassan said Granite State’s cities and towns stand to lose at least $8.7 million under this plan.

Local school districts — including Salem, Timberlane, Derry and Londonderry — would receive $214,563, $207,855, $184,787 and $112,453 less than FY 2017, according to Hassan. Windham would receive $75,830 less, Hassan calculated.

Nashua Telegraph: Hassan: Medicaid cuts bad for NH 

By Derek Edry

New Hampshire U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, along with state school administrators and advocacy organizations, is worried the Trump administration’s proposed Medicaid cuts could have negative repercussions on students with disabilities and school districts.

Hassan, during a press conference Thursday, said New Hampshire’s school districts stand to lose $8.7 million or more in Medicaid funds if the American Health Care Act, which is projected to cut Medicaid services by more than $800 billion dollars, is approved by the U.S. Senate.

…“Countless children who experience disabilities have been able to go to school and participate in their communities because of Medicaid,” said Hassan, a first-term Democrat.

Carl Ladd, of the New Hampshire School Administrators, said if Medicaid services in the state are cut, school districts will have to consider cuts to other programs.

“If schools lose funding from Medicaid, districts would face huge budget shortages and could be forced to cut access to behavioral health services, health screenings, and school nurses that countless students depend upon,” Ladd said.

Mike Skibbie, policy director of the Disability Rights Center New Hampshire, said the cuts would impact disabled students’ abilities to integrate and participate in society like their peers.

Hassan also quoted Concord Superintendents Terri Forsten and Corinne Cascadden, who both said cuts to Medicaid would have a serious impact on their already tight budgets.