Governmental Affairs Action Alert – April 10, 2017
Action is needed during the Congressional recess (April 10-21) on the American Health Care Act (AHCA)!
This is the bill that proposes to gut the Medicaid program through per capita caps and block grants and repeal many provisions of the Affordable Care Act that are critically important to people with disabilities. Congressional leaders canceled a vote on March 24th in the House of Representatives on H.R. 1628, the American Health Care Reform Act (AHCA). However, Members of the House of Representatives and the Administration are renewing talks on the AHCA and proposing harmful changes to gain enough support for passage of this dangerous bill.
BACKGROUND: The AHCA repeals major provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and makes devastating cuts to Medicaid. This bill cuts $880 billion out of the Medicaid program over ten years. Under the cap and cut proposal, the federal government would no longer share in the costs of providing health care services and community services beyond the capped amount. It weakens Medicaid by ending the Medicaid expansion earlier than planned and offering Medicaid block grants to states.
These changes would likely result in drastic cuts to the employment supports provided through Long-Term Services and Supports (LTSS) and to services through the Home and the Community-Based Services (HCBS) program, because these are optional services that states are not required to provide. HCBS is the program that includes important support services for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities – support services that help people live in their own homes (i.e., scheduling appointments, grocery shopping, running errands, getting to work on time, aiding in day to day living tasks).
The latest proposal makes a bad bill even worse, particularly for people with pre-existing health conditions, by allowing states to waive the requirement to offer “essential health benefits” and to waive insurance pricing requirements so that those with pre-existing conditions could be charged prohibitively high rates.
What you can do:
Make an appointment and visit your Senators and Representative or their staff in their state/district offices.
Attend a Town Hall or other event.
Use #ProtectMedicaid on social media.
Keep up the calls! Members of the House of Representatives need to keep hearing from families. Visit http://whoismyrepresentative.com for contact information.
Tell them that you are a constituent and your personal story. Tell them that you/your son/daughter relies on (or will rely on) Medicaid for health insurance and for services to live and work in the community through the Medicaid waiver.
Caps and block grants would decimate the program on which people with disabilities and seniors rely for critical healthcare and community services.
Do NOT allow states to opt out of requiring health plans to cover basic health care and keep it affordable for people with pre-existing conditions, including people with disabilities.