Congress is on the fast track to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to make drastic cuts to the Medicaid program. The level of cuts over time would decimate the Medicaid program.
When will this happen? IT IS HAPPENING NOW. The House of Representatives is moving quickly to push the bill through Committee and vote by the end of March. The Senate is planning to vote on the House bill before the mid-April recess.
People’s health, services and lives are at stake! We urgently need advocates to reach out to their Senators and Representatives and tell them to stop the repeal of the ACA and the cuts to Medicaid. Advocates need to explain why the ACA and Medicaid are essential to people with disabilities and their families.
Message 1: Do NOT cut and 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 in the Medicaid program. 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 and save the federal government money. Inevitably there will be cuts in funding in the states. The 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 scarcer, 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.
For additional information, see CCD’s fact sheet about Medicaid.
Message 2: 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 can't deny health insurance or charge higher premiums if you have a disability or chronic condition.
● Because of the ACA, there aren't 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 were able to access health care due to the Medicaid expansion.
For additional information, see CCD’s fact sheet about the ACA.
Call your Senators and Representatives today 202-224-3121. Now is the time for ACTION, remember every call matters! Don’t let them take away health care and services for millions of people and replace it with a plan that CUTS Medicaid.
Call your Governors today, find out how to contact them here. Remind your Governor what cuts to the Medicaid would mean for the state budget and why they matter to you. Share that same message with state legislators.
If you need assistance in learning how to get engaged, learn more from ASAN’s toolkit on basic civic engagement for self-advocates.
What to Say:
● I am your constituent.
● I am a person with a disability or I am a family member of someone with a disability or I am a professional in the disability field.
● 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.