Her name has become associated with a Medicaid waiver. When Katie was three he parents advocated to the Federal government and were successful at changing Medicaid rules. Their issue reached President Reagan, who worked to achieve a solution.

Today, the Katie Beckett waiver allows children with disabilities the option to stay at home rather than being institutionalized. Under traditional Medicaid rules, parental income is deemed to a child with a disability if that child lives with their parents. This deeming of income often results in disqualification of the child from receiving Medicaid services. This leaves the parents with a difficult choice: take care of the disabled child at home without government assistance or place the child into a nursing home.

The Katie Beckett waiver provides an exception under which the income of the parents is not deemed to the child. To qualify for the waiver, an application showing that the child meets the medical requirements of nursing home placement must be filed with the state. If approved for the waiver, the child can remain in the parents’ household and receive Medicaid, which can often include home based care.