We need YOUR voice to join in the fight against the current attempts to drastically change the health care structure and Medicaid funding mechanism that would be devastating for our loved ones!
The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) has joined with other national disability groups to aggressively fight the fast and sweeping health care reform efforts occurring on Capitol Hill. NDSC has prepared a detailed analysis of how the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and proposed restructuring of Medicaid will negatively impact the Down syndrome community, as well as a basic glossary to help you understand many of these terms.
WHY THE URGENCY?
Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released its score (estimated cost and impact of proposed legislation) of the version of the AHCA that passed the House of Representatives on May 4, 2017 and is currently being considered by the Senate. Similar to the original score of the AHCA in March 2017, the updated score estimates that $834 billion will be cut from Medicaid over the next decade, and that 23 million more people would be uninsured. People with pre-existing conditions such as Down syndrome are likely to be limited in their choice of health care plans, pay much higher premiums, and lose many essential health benefits that are currently covered (click here for more information).
NDSC is hearing that, like in the House version of AHCA, the Senate is seriously considering removing the entitlement from Medicaid and restructuring the Medicaid program to a block grant or per capital cap model. This will significantly diminish the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities, who will receive fewer:
Supports to live and work in the community, such as assistance with the activities of daily living (such as eating, bathing, dressing, preparing meals, housekeeping, preparing medication), as well as home health services, transportation and supported employment services; and
Special education-related services in schools since schools rely upon Medicaid for reimbursement for services such as physical therapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy.
The Senate is not likely to hold public hearings on this bill, so our voices need to be loud and clear – #NoCutsNoCaps! and #SaveMedicaid!
WHAT CAN YOU DO?
Make your voice heard by calling your Senators’ offices today! You can find contact information for your Senators here: https://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/
Request to schedule an in-state meeting with staff (or the Senator herself when they are home next week for Memorial Day recess)
Ask if there are upcoming town hall meetings and SHOW UP!
Tell Your Senator or Staff:
You are a constituent and you are calling on behalf of yourself or a loved one with Down syndrome;
Any block grants or caps to Medicaid will cause states to strip away critical supports upon which you or your loved one with Down syndrome will need to learn, live and work in the community, so you are urging your Senator to look for other ways to finance health care reform efforts instead of restructuring Medicaid.
Call the Senate offices, send emails, fax letters, use social media (tag the Senator and use the hashtags #NoCutsNoCaps and #SaveMedicaid). DO SOMETHING AND DO IT NOW!! Once the Medicaid entitlement is removed, it will be gone forever. This could set the Down syndrome community back decades!