Your advocacy is needed again to defeat a last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and gut Medicaid by restructuring it to a block grant and cap/cut system that has gained momentum again on Capitol Hill. Senators Graham (R-SC), Cassidy (R-LA), Johnson (R-WI) and Heller (R-NV) introduced an amendment on September 13, 2017 that includes devastating cuts and per capita caps to the Medicaid program which are substantially the same as the health care proposals that were defeated earlier this summer, and we need to reinvigorate our advocacy efforts immediately. Things are moving very quickly and a vote could come as early as next week!
Once again, we need the entire Down syndrome community to flood Senate offices with calls, emails and reach out via social media to oppose #GrahamCassidy and to #SaveMedicaid and make sure there are #NoCutsNoCaps. Not only are people with pre-existing conditions in jeopardy due to this latest bill, but the home and community-based services through Medicaid upon which people with Down syndrome rely to live and work in the community are particularly at risk because they are “optional” services that are likely to get cut first. You can read the text of the bill here and get detailed information about this bill and the advocacy efforts to defeat it here.
Go to www.senate.gov to find your Senators and here to find their Twitter handles. Call to tell them to oppose this amendment and to continue to work in a bipartisan manner on health care and Medicaid reforms. Tell them that you are the parent of a person with a disability or a self-advocate and why Medicaid supports are or will be important to your family. We also encourage you to set up appointments with your Senator and Representative’s district offices as the Members will be home for a few days later in the week. It is important to connect with your Representatives too as this bill will move very quickly to the House if it passes the Senate (and will likely go straight to a vote).
Talking points are:
Oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill or any other bill that cuts, caps and/or block grants Medicaid and diminishes protections for pre-existing conditions.
Support the bi-partisan efforts around health insurance market stabilization and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).
The home and community based services (HCBS) on which people with disabilities rely to live in the community and be employed are especially at risk because they are optional and could be eliminated.
People with disabilities and their advocates oppose any bill — be it a healthcare bill, the budget, or tax reform — that cuts or caps Medicaid or compromises coverage for people with pre-existing conditions.
Senators listed below are considered top and high priority. However, all Senators should be contacted.
Maine: Senator Collins (DC: 202-224-2523; local 207-780-3575)
Alaska: Senator Murkowski (DC: 202-224-6665; local 907-271-3735)
West Virginia: Senator Capito (DC: 202-224-6472; local 304-347-5372)
Arizona: Senator McCain (DC: 202-224-2235; local 602-952-2410)
Ohio: Senator Portman (DC: 202-224-3353; local 513-684-3265)
Arkansas: Senators Cotton and Boozman (Cotton – DC: 202-224-2353; local 501-223-9081; Boozman – DC: 202-224-4843; local 501-372-7153)
Colorado: Senator Gardner (DC: 202-224-5941; local 303-391-5777)
Indiana: Senator Young (DC: 202-224-5623; local 317-226-6700)
Iowa: Senators Grassley and Ernst (Grassley – DC: 202-224-3744; local 515-288-1145; Ernst – DC: 202-224-3254; local 515-284-4574)
Kansas: Senator Moran (DC: 202-224-6521; local 913-393-0711)
North Carolina: Senator Tillis (DC: 202-224-6342; local 704-509-9087)
North Dakota: Senator Hoeven (DC: 202-224-2551; local 701-250-4618)
Tennessee: Senators Alexander and Corker (Alexander – DC: 202-224-4944; local 901-544-4224; Corker – DC: 202-224-3344; local 901-683-1910)
PLEASE CALL TODAY AND EVERY DAY UNTIL SEPTEMBER 30 TO DEFEAT THIS BILL. Ask your friends and family in these states to make calls also. Thank you for your advocacy efforts!