Dozens of people are lined up outside a very full, and very hot, hearing room where the Senate Health & Welfare Committee is considering rules to implement cuts in treatment hours for children and adults with developmental disabilities. “It’s time to stop punishing individuals for having disabilities,” Rochelle Tierney, a mother of three from Nampa whose oldest son has autism, told the panel. Sen. Denton Darrington, R-Declo, asked her, “Are you suggesting that this program should not take its share of the Medicaid cuts?” When she answered yes, because of the impact on families, Darrington asked, “How would you suggest we deal with the people in the other programs that would have to take double their share of cuts?” “I do not know,” the mom replied. “Now you know our dilemma,” Darrington responded.
Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.
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