Congress has already begun the process of repealing of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and it now is on the fast track to include major cuts to the Medicaid programs as part of the replacement plan. The result would be two major blows to individuals with disabilities.
People’s health, services and lives are at stake! We need advocates to reach out to their Senators and Representatives to let them know why the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid are essential to people with disabilities and their families.
Call your Senators and Representatives today at 202-224-3121. Now is the time for ACTION, remember every call matters! Don’t let them take away health care and services for millions of people and replace it with a plan that CUTS Medicaid.
Message 1: Do NOT per capita cap Medicaid!
Medicaid is a jointly funded program with matching state and federal funds. Under a Medicaid per capita cap, the federal government would set a limit on how much to reimburse states based on enrollment. Unlike current law, funding would not be based on the actual cost of providing services. Much like the proposed block grants, the intent of the per capita caps is to restructure the program and save the federal government money. Inevitably there will be cuts in funding and other negative impacts to Medicaid recipients could include:
- Losing home and community-based services and supports. Waiting lists would quickly grow.
- Losing other critical services such as personal care, mental health, prescription drugs, and rehabilitative services. If funds become more scarce, states may decide to stop providing these services altogether.
- Being forced into unnecessary institutionalization. States could return to the days of “warehousing” people with disabilities in institutions.
- Shifting the costs to individuals or family members to make up for the federal cuts. The costs of providing health care and long term services and supports will not go away, but will be shifted to individuals, parents, states,and providers.
Message 2: Do not repeal the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with disabilities!
The ACA is the most significant law for people with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act:
- Because of the ACA, health insurers can’t deny health insurance if you have a disability or chronic condition.
- Because of the ACA, there aren’t arbitrary financial limits to how much health care you can get in a year or in your lifetime.
- Because of the ACA, more people with disabilities receive supports and live in the community, not institutions.