THE DEVASTATING IMPACT OF PROPOSED FEDERAL CHANGES TO MEDICAID/MEDI-CAL
WHY THIS MATTERS TO YOU
ACTIONS YOU NEED TO TAKE NOW
There’s been a lot of press about the repeal and replacement of the Obama Affordable Care Act concerning affordability, access, premiums, and pre-existing conditions clauses. Yet far more dangerous to our children and adults with autism, developmental disabilities and the elderly poor are the massive changes proposed to the Medicaid system, called Medi-Cal in California, i.e. block grants and cost caps.
What Medicaid/Medi-Cal pays for and why cutting this already lean program puts millions of elderly and disabled Americans at risk of losing vital services and medical care essential for their very lives.
• Approximately 50% of Regional Center services are dependent on federal Medicaid funding. Do we really think that the California legislature will make a up for the lack of this federal funding with monies from the general fund? A California senator recently told me that the political will was not there to increase funds for DD services.
• It has been projected that the California Medi-Cal budget would lose approximately $35 billion over the next 10 years.
• Already underfunded Regional Center services, eg group homes, day programs, supported employment, supported living services, respite, diapers, transportation, dental care, etc. would be at probable risk of being eliminated
• In Home Support Services which support the disabled and elderly are funded via Medicaid funds. Elimination of this program would likely lead to increased institutionalization but with a likely decrease in group homes, where would the elderly and disabled go?
• Approximately 2/3 of Californians in nursing homes are on MediCal. What will happen to them?
• According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, 42% of Medicaid spending goes to the disabled. Considering the current limited financial planning options available for special needs families, MediCal helps the middle class avoid depleting all of their assets to support their loved ones.
Block grants and cost caps for Medicaid were promoted by the House and are likely being considered by the Senate. Most disability organizations believe that will result in significant cuts in federal Medicaid support. The Congressional Budget office projects that the Medicaid budget to states would be reduced by approximately $839 billion over the next 10 years. National disability advocacy groups emphasize that the drastic reduction in Medicaid funding to states will result in state legislators being forced to make difficult decisions based on fiscal reasons
Action alert below courtesy of Disability Rights and Education Defense Fund (DREDF)
In California we need you to call your friends, relatives in the key states below and ask them to advocate on your family’s behalf to their senators. We must put pressure on senators to oppose the AHCA! The more constituents that call or fax or email the more they will listen.
Key States and Senators
Maine: Susan Collins
Alaska: Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan
Nevada: Dean Heller
West Virginia: Shelley Moore Capito
Arizona: Jeff Flake
Ohio: Rob Portman
Colorado: Cory Gardner
Louisiana: Bill Cassidy
Pennsylvania: Pat Toomey
Montana: Steve Daines
Nebraska: Deb Fischer and Ben Sasse
Missouri: Roy Blunt
Wisconsin: Ron Johnson
Indiana: Todd Young
Georgia: Johnny Isakson
Alabama: Richard Shelby
Florida: Marco Rubio
The Senate leadership plans to bring the AHCA to the floor before the end of June. Draft language may already have been sent to the Congressional Budget Office without any scrutiny by or input from the public or Democratic senators. This is not the way a democracy should work.
The fate of this bill is up to a few senators and hearing from their constituents will have an impact on them. They need to hear from their constituents.
The message: "I'm calling to ask the Senator to reject the parts of the AHCA that would convert Medicaid funding to a per capita cap or block grant, force people with pre–existing conditions into high risk pools, or allow insurers to put out worthless insurance products. No one should lose health insurance."
Lives and our services are at risk.
Don't live in one of the key states?
• Call the Senate Finance and HELP Committees and demand they hold hearings before they bring the bill to the floor for a vote: Call the Senate HELP Committee at 202–224–5375 and the Senate Finance Committee at 202–224–4515
• Reach out to friends, family and your networks in the key states and ask them to call or email their senators.
Here's how to contact your Senators:
• Telephone calls: Use the Congressional switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to speak to your senator—tell them where you live and you will be directed to your senator's office
• By Fax: Use https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php to find your Senator's fax number.
• Social Media: Use contactingcongress.org to find email addresses, Twitter names, and Facebook pages for your Senator.
Thank you for your activism.