Every year since 2006, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) -- an international advocate, educating and providing support services for children and adults with a spectrum of disabilities through an affiliate network-- produces The Case for Inclusion, an annual ranking of how well state Medicaid programs serve Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). Individuals with ID/DD, including the aging, want and deserve the same freedoms and quality of life as all Americans.

Medicaid affects all of us -- children and adults with disabilities, as we are aging, as our family ages, and when the unexpected happens. It is the critical safety net that provides financial and healthcare security, and community supports to Americans with ID/DD, aging, and low-income individuals and families, so that their desired freedom, quality of life and community participation can be fully realized.

It is the duty of a civil society such as ours to aid these individuals, who are often the most vulnerable members of society.

Yet some states do much better than others in having the needed political will and sound Medicaid policies necessary to achieve this ideal. The Case for Inclusion ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC) – not on their spending – but on their outcomes for Americans with ID/DD.

The Case for Inclusion shows how well each individual state is performing overall; how each state matches up against other states regarding key data measures; and, most importantly, the top performing states with policies and practices that should be replicated.

  • Sources
  • About Author

    Tarren Bragdon has been involved in healthcare policy research and analysis for more than a decade. His work has been featured in newspapers and media outlets nationwide including The Wall Street Journal, New York Post, New York Sun and PBS. He served two terms in the Maine House of Representatives on the Health and Human Services Committee and served as chair of the board of directors of Spurwink Services, one of the largest social service providers in Maine.

  • Past Reports:

An Analysis of Medicaid Outcomes for Americans with Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) releases The Case for Inclusion each year, tracking the progress of community living standards for Americans living with intellectual and developmental disabilities (ID/DD). The report examines data and outcomes for all 50 states and the District of Columbia (DC), ranking each on a set of key indicators, including how people with disabilities live and participate in their communities, if they are satisfied with their lives, and how easily the services and supports they need are accessed. By taking these factors into account, UCP is able to develop a comprehensive analysis of each state's progress or failures in providing critical services to individuals living with disabilities.

The findings for 2013 reveal that: 1) All states have room for some improvement, but some have consistently remained at the bottom of the rankings; 2) Despite economic strains, many states have made real improvements in the quality of services being provided; 3) There is still work to be done in ensuring that people with ID/DD can enjoy the same freedoms and quality of life as all Americans.

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