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Tell Congress They Can Do Better On Medicaid!

posted on Wednesday, March 8, 2017

The following is the latest information regarding Medicaid, shared with us from ANCOR (American Network Community Options and Resources).

Late yesterday, Congress introduced two bills that make up the American Health Care Act that would restructure Medicaid and reform the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Congress is quickly moving the bill into Committee for review and so NOW is the time to tell them that their proposals must do better for the I/DD (Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) community. For your reference, here is a summary of the health policy and programs components of the bill, and here is a summary of the related tax components of the bill. Members of the House of Representatives will start the bill revision process on the morning of Wednesday, March 8, so the sooner and more frequently they hear from you, the more influential your insights will be.

We have identified some quick and easy policy points that you can share with Congress to improve its Medicaid/ACA restructuring plans so that it meets the needs of the I/DD community:

  • It is ill-advised for the various committees to move forward with this legislation absent a Congressional Budget Office (CBO) "score." The score is intended to inform Members of Congress of the budgetary and coverage consequences of enacting legislation.
  • The reduction of the 6 percent increase the Community First Choice Option (CFCO), is misguided and could lead to greater institutionalization of vulnerable Medicaid populations.
  • Repealing the requirement of state Medicaid programs to provide the same essential health benefits as plans offered on the exchanges could decrease access to services for people with disabilities.  
  • We need greater information regarding the calculation of the per-capita cap going forward, noting that the uncertainty behind the payment could lead states to reducing coverage to optional services and populations.
  • We are concerned over how states will comply with the requirement to re-determine Medicaid eligibility every sixth months for the expansion population.

There are two ways you can share these points with Members of Congress:

1. Call their offices! Calling is a more personal effort and thus is taken into greater consideration by Congressional offices. You will find a revised script, calling instruction and a tool to call your nearest Congressional office here.

2. Email their offices directly through our newly revised email action tool, which lays out ways in which Congress must do better. You will be asked to fill out a form so our action tool can identify your Member of Congress and meet requirements for emails sent directly to Congressional offices.

We cannot stress enough the need to voice our concerns clearly, loudly and often. Please share this alert with your colleagues, employees, and consumers and their families to maximize our message's effect.

Together, we can save our services!