from National Family Voices:
The Senate released its version of the health care bill this morning. Family Voices Policy staff has taken a first look. A few notes:
· This bill has no winners and puts at risk coverage and care for children and youth who have special health care needs, whether they get their insurance through the ACA marketplace, an employer, or through Medicaid.
· The “carve out” for blind and disabled children does not help. It would apply only to a small number of children with special health care needs until they turn 19, and will not even protect them for the effects of the drastic cuts in Medicaid funding.
In short kids and families are losers in this bill. Call your Senators offices NOW.
(1) Urge them to oppose the Senate version of the American Health Care Act. As a parent/relative/provider of a child with special health care needs, you appreciate the effort to protect some of these children, but the carve-out for blind and disabled children does not provide true protection for children and youth with special health care needs. It is for a very narrow group of children, their special needs won’t go away when they turn 19, and even they can’t be protected from the harms of the drastic cuts due to the Medicaid caps.
(2) Tell your family’s story: Tell them that the bill threatens critical protections and services for your child and family – protections from annual and lifetime coverage limits and unaffordable out-of-pocket expenses, and coverage of essential health benefits and services, such as Katie Beckett waiver/option coverage, home and community-based care waiver services, and Medicaid coverage for general and specialized health care. Tell them what will happen if your child and family lose these protections and services.
Here’s how to reach your Senators:
· If you know your Senators’ names, call 202‑224‑3121 (not toll free) and ask to be connected to their office(s).
· OR, use the toll-free numbers below to be connected you with a Republican Senator or House Member from your state. (All Democrats are expected to oppose the health care bill.)
o English: 866-426-2631
o Spanish: 877-736-7831
· Call, post, tweet, email: Enter your zip code at www.contactingCongress.org to find your Senators’ names, DC and local phone numbers, and their email, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media contact information. Call the DC office first and a local office if you have time.
If you can’t get through by phone or you have time to do more --
· Email: Send an email (pre-written but should be personalized) to both Senators at once at http://action.
communitycatalyst.org/p/dia/ action3/common/public/index. sjs?action_KEY=21058.
Tell your Senators they must #ProtectMedicaid and #KeepKidsCovered.
Get all your friends and relatives and your child’s teachers and health care providers to call too!