NDSC opposes the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) and urges the Down syndrome community to fight relentlessly against passage of the bill. BCRA is the Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). If it passes the Senate, the House of Representatives will approve it and it will go straight to the President’s desk to become law. It is a radical plan to devastate Medicaid and end the expansion of Medicaid.
According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), this bill will cut Medicaid by $775 billion over the next ten years and 22 million less people will be insured. It will restructure the entire Medicaid system, putting the lives of people with disabilities at risk and significantly diminishing the quality of life for people with Down syndrome. This bill, if enacted, will set us back decades.
The BCRA is substantially like the House version of the American Health Care Act. It fundamentally changes Medicaid and eliminates the individual mandate, ends the federal contribution to the states, gives the states flexibility on what services to provide and drastically restructures the Medicaid program by instituting per capita caps. This will lead to drastic cuts in services and supports that are vital to people with Down syndrome (See here for NDSC’s statement on the impact of the AHCA on the Down syndrome community).
One difference between the House and Senate versions is that the Senate version contains a provision referred to as a “carve-out” for children with significant disabilities. However, as the federal funding to the larger Medicaid system shrinks and the state has to put more of its own state dollars to fill the gap, there will be LESS state money for the match for carved out kids, likely leading to service reductions. The Medicaid system withers with less funding, providers across the board will close, making it harder to get services for all people on Medicaid, including kids.
In addition, this bill could also have a devastating impact on providers. Families and individuals with disabilities know their well-being is attached to direct care workers and service providers (i.e. physical therapy, occupational therapy, medical care in the home, adult support services) surviving. They will understand how disrupting providers and creating havoc in the lives of support staff will disrupt their son/daughter’s life as well.
Call your Senators TODAY and tell them that you need them to vote NO on the health care bill, so that people with disabilities can receive the supports they need to live, learn and work in the community. You can call the Senate switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or find your Senator here.
Reach out to your ENTIRE network of family and friends in these key states and ask them to call their Senators to urge them to vote NO: Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Missouri, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
We need all hands-on-deck, and time is running out. Call TODAY and then tweet and fax. Then call again! You can help us win this fight and #SaveMedicaid for generations to come.