Governmental Affairs Action Alert ~ March 21, 2017
BACKGROUND: On Thursday 3/23, the House of Representatives will vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA). The Senate is expected to vote sometime before the end of March.
The AHCA in its current form extinguishes Medicaid’s Home and Community-Based Services (HCBS) program. HCBS are “optional services” that enable your son or daughter to live and work in the community. It is virtually the only choice for adult support services. It also includes waiver services that allow families to get the health services they need to keep their son or daughter in the home.
This will be done by imposing per capita caps/block grants as the method of reimbursement to the states instead of the current fee for service model. The plan is expected to reduce federal expenditures by $880 billion over the next 10 years. To read more about these methods of reimbursement, go to: http://www.c-c-d.org/fichiers/CCD-MedicaidLeaveBehind_Final03012017.pdf
The NDSC is up on Capitol Hill speaking with Members of Congress and their staffers. They need to hear from you, their constituents, directly.
The ARC of the United State has developed the following points about the impact of these reductions:
People with disabilities will get slammed by Medicaid cuts. $880 billion would get cut from the Medicaid program over the next decade. This cut comes from 1) changing the financing structure of the program to a per capita cap model, and 2) phasing out the “Medicaid expansion,” which incentivizes states to cover people up to 138% of the federal poverty level (income of $16, 642 per year) for an individual.
The result is a cost shift to states that would likely force states to choose among options such as:
Cutting eligibility. People with disabilities, low-income adults, children, pregnant women, and seniors could be cut from the rolls.
Cutting services. Current “optional” services such as in-home services, assistive technology, transportation, supported employment, and much more could be up for grabs.
Cutting quality. If federal Medicaid regulations are lost, it could be cheaper for states to warehouse people with disabilities in institutions rather than provide quality home and community-based services.
Call your Representative with the following message:
The current bill moving through the House of Representatives is unacceptable because it will limit or eliminate the Home and Community-Based Services and is devastating to people with disabilities who rely on the services.
Then call your Senators with this message:
The AHCA bill is unacceptable because it will limit or eliminate the Home and Community-Based Services and is devastating to people with disabilities who rely on these services.
Tell your personal story. Congressional members need to hear what the impact will be on your son or daughter’s ability to live and work in the community. Even if you are not currently receiving HCBS, you need to act now to preserve this for your family’s future.