As a special educator, it hurts to see students receive poor health care. People in poverty are more than twice as likely to have I.D. (intellectual disability). The causal link is twofold. Poverty causes I.D. because of conditions of trauma, lack of good pre- and postnatal care, and poor nutrition and education. I.D. causes poverty through health care cost. Utah families rely on Medicaid.

Covered families access prenatal screenings and preventive medicine. Disability isn’t eliminated, but this prevents problems. Undiagnosed allergies and autoimmune disorders wreak havoc on brain development. Preventive care is good for the bottom line; treating and educating more students with disabilities is far more expensive.

Utah’s lower-middle class are in a “coverage gap.” They can’t get quality health coverage. The cost of a child with disabilities drives them into poverty. While suffering great emotional pain, families pay out of pocket. The result is bills, bankruptcy and poverty, which means less in taxes and economic contributions. Block granting Medicaid will hurt Utah. The inflexible funding means less health care coverage. We don’t cover enough, and cuts bode poorly for the thousands of Utahns in need. I urge Utah’s congressional delegation to vote “no” on cuts to Medicaid.

Elizabeth Spencer

Salt Lake City