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Tuesday, March 7, 2017

ACTION ALERT - Olmstead Act Rights Under Attack! Tell Congress to Protect Medicaid!

National Disability Rights Network Statement on the American Health Care Act

WASHINGTON –  March, 7, 2017 - “The legislation revealed by House Republicans last night is a giant step backwards in the treatment and care of individuals with disabilities.

“It repeals the expanded Medicaid match that encourages the community integration of people with disabilities and counters biases that lead to institutionalization. It permits discrimination against people with disabilities in the insurance market for their pre-existing conditions. It caps Medicaid funding which means a sharp reduction in services and availability of this important health care lifeline for children and adults with disabilities. In short, this plan is terrible.

“The National Disability Rights Network urges the House not to send people with disabilities back to a time when it was nearly impossible for us to obtain health insurance, live in the home of our choice or participate in community life. We will never go back to those days. Never.”

SOURCE: Press Release March 7, 2017 
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Reach out to your House and Senate Members TODAY and tell them that repealing the Affordable Care Act and replacing it with a plan that CUTS Medicaid is unacceptable.

The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally 

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SOURCE: Press Release Access Living of Metro Chicago
March 7, 2017 - Republican leaders in the US House of Representatives have finally released their plan to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Their replacement bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), contains provisions that would seriously undermine home and community based services and community integration currently funded by Medicaid. Our Director of Advocacy and External Affairs, Amber Smock, explains further and issues a call to action below:

"People with disabilities fighting for the right to live integrated, included lives in the community need to know that the new federal bill, the American Health Care Act (AHCA), will make it much more difficult for you to exercise your right to live in the community. Remember that the Olmstead Supreme Court decision, whose original plaintiffs were Lois Curtis and Elaine Wilson, made it your right to live in the community, not in a nursing home or institution. For those who rely on Medicaid funding, the AHCA attacks your funding by creating a system called per capita caps, where the federal government gives your state money based on your type of category (aged/blind/disabled, kids, etc). The amount of Medicaid funds is the same for each person in the category---there is no flexibility for those of you whose supports cost more. The per capita caps will stay at FY 16 level funding permanently without accounting for growth, meaning that each year as your state program grows, there will be less money for all. Starting in 2020, the Federal government could actually make big Medicaid cuts to your state if your state spends too much on you. Medicaid providers won't get paid and you won't have access to supports/healthcare you may need to stay in the community. Yes, you could be forced into a nursing home or institution, even though it costs more. The AHCA also eliminates the 6% enhanced Federal match for the Community First Choice Option (also known as the K Plan or 1915(k)). If you are a senior, the AHCA is going to make you pay more for private insurance plans. You may not be able to afford this. If you are a younger person with a private/employer health insurance health care plan, you are going to have to do a lot more paperwork and saving because you will have to pay out of pocket for more stuff. All of these things will make it more difficult to exercise our right to live in the community; be clear, it could PULL THE RUG OUT from under community-based supports. The AHCA is a giant budget cut to Medicaid! It makes Medicaid pay for benefits for wealthier people! So today, let's take action! 

Call your members of Congress using the switchboard at (312) 224-3121, and say: "I am a disability advocates and I need you to OPPOSE the American Health Care Act because it will make it more difficult for people with disabilities to live in the community. We won't be able to afford it and our providers won't serve us any more!" CALL TODAY!!!"

In addition to your phone calls, Twitter is an important tool to make your voice heard. If you tweet today on this issue, use these hashtags: 
  • #ACAChat
  • #KeepAmericaCovered
  • #CoverageMatters
  • #SaveMedicaid
Here are some sample tweets to use:
  • PWD rely on Medicaid. Funding caps and cuts will hurt them and their families the most. #SaveMedicaid
  • Federal funding caps mean the rest of us will pay $$$ to keep same quality care #KeepAmericaCovered
  • Caps = less funding. Less funding = fewer options #SaveMedicaid
  • The ACA gave millions of disabled Americans and their caregivers access to health insurance. #KeepAmericaCovered
  • The ACA got things like speech therapy, habiliation services covered. These services heal. #CoverageMatters 

This is a massive attack on our civil right to live in the community, and it's time to fight back!

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