On March 6, 2017, legislation was proposed in the U.S. House of Representatives to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This legislation, called the American Health Care Act, will cut Medicaid and repeal important protections of the ACA. The House Energy and Commerce Committee will vote on this legislation this week, and it will move on to a vote of the full House of Representatives next week. If approved, this legislation will be devastating to people with disabilities. Reach out to your House and Senate members TODAY and tell them that repealing the ACA and replacing it with a plan that cuts Medicaid is unacceptable.
People's health, services, and lives are at stake. Reach out to your Representatives and Senators to let them know why the ACA and Medicaid are essential to people with disabilities and their families. Ask them to vote against this legislation that removes important protections for people with disabilities.
Cal 1-866-426-2631 to tell your elected officials to protect your care by not repealing the ACA. Click here to download "5 Things You can Do to Protect Medicaid & the ACA."
You can add more details to your calls and letters to your elected officials with some of the information below.
Do NOT per capita cap Medicaid!
Medicaid is a jointly funded program with matching state and federal funds. Under a Medicaid per capita cap, the federal government would set a limit on how much to reimburse states based on enrollment. Unlike current law, funding would not be based on the actual cost of providing services. Much like the proposed block grants, the intent of the per capita caps is to restructure the program, cut federal spending and drastically reduce money going to the states. Inevitably there will be cuts in funding and other negative impacts to Medicaid recipients could include:
- Losing home and community-based services and supports. Waiting lists would quickly grow.
- Losing other critical services such as personal care, mental health, prescription drugs, and rehabilitative services. If funds become more scarce, states may decide to stop providing these services altogether.
- Being forced into unnecessary institutionalization. States could return to the days of “warehousing” people with disabilities in institutions.
- Shifting the costs to individuals or family members to make up for the federal cuts. The costs of providing health care and long term services and supports will not go away, but will be shifted to individuals, parents, states, and providers.
Do not repeal the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with disabilities!
The ACA is the most significant law for people with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act:
- Because of the ACA, health insurers cannot deny health insurance or charge higher premiums if you have a disability or chronic condition.
- Because of the ACA, there are not arbitrary financial limits to how much health care you can get in a year or in your lifetime.
- Because of the ACA, more people with disabilities and chronic health conditions are able to access health care due to the Medicaid expansion.
The ACA has unquestionably improved access to care for people with disabilities and chronic conditions to help them live healthy, independent, and fulfilling lives. In fact, in those states that have taken up the Medicaid expansion provided under the ACA, more people with disabilities are able to work and pay taxes and get off other financial benefits than states that have not taken up this valuable expansion of Medicaid.
Do NOT repeal the ACA without a replacement that maintains or improves coverage and protections. Do NOT allow restructuring and cuts to Medicaid to be part of an ACA replacement.
The ACA and Medicaid helps me/my family member to have health care and community based services. Legislation to repeal the ACA and cut Medicaid is going to return this country to a time where people with disabilities and chronic conditions could not get health insurance and were relegated to poverty and having to choose between rent, food, or seeing a doctor or getting their prescriptions.
Do not return our country to that time. Oppose the American Health Care Act that repeals the ACA and cuts important protections for people with disabilities, including Medicaid.
Article published: March 8, 2017, 11:15 a.m.