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January 13, 2017

From Disciples Home Missions: Act Now to Protect Healthcare & Medicaid

The Senate is planning to pass a budget that will begin the process of repealing the ACA as soon as JANUARY 11. This is the first step in taking health care away before having a plan to replace it.

There is also talk about proposed changes to the Medicaid program to have it funded through block grants or per capita caps. Read below to learn more about how each of these possibilities would be detrimental to the disability community should they come to fruition and be sure to follow our Call To Action!

The Affordable Care Act
There have been attempts to repeal the ACA in the past, but President Obama has made it clear that he would veto any repeal bills. President-Elect Trump has expressed his support for repealing the ACA. There are key provisions within the Affordable Care Act that support the health and well-being of people with disabilities. To name a few:
Health insurers cannot deny someone health insurance on the basis of a pre-existing condition, including a disability or chronic condition;

There are no arbitrary financial limits to how much healthcare an individual can receive in a year or in their lifetime;

More people with disabilities receive supports to live in the community of their choice rather than in an institution;

20 million adults and children have health insurance through Medicaid expansion and health insurance subsidies;

The Money Follows the Person (MFP) demonstration program that helps people with disabilities transition from institutions to the community was reauthorized and expanded;

The Community First Choice option (CFCO) was established, which increased the Federal Matching Assistance Percentage (FMAP) for states who provide new or expanded home and community based services (HCBS);

The U.S. Access Board was authorized to develop accessibility standards for medical diagnostic equipment (MDE);

Millions of adults have been able to stay on their parent's health insurance plan until age 26; and

Health insurers provide more people with the services they need - including mental health services and rehabilitation services and devices.
There are countless other provisions in the ACA that are important to people with disabilities. The ACA has unquestionably improved access to care for people with disabilities and chronic conditions to help them live healthy, independent, and fulfilling lives. Learn more about how people with disabilities benefit from the Affordable Care Act (source: Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities).

Call To Action!
Call the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senator's and/or Representative's office. You can find your Senators and Representative here. Tell your Members of Congress:
Vote NO on the Budget package that leads to eliminating the Affordable Care Act.

People with disabilities need access to comprehensive and affordable health care.

Congress must include the disability community in any discussion about repeal and replace to ensure that any changes meet the needs of people with disabilities.
Tweet your Senators and Representative to tell them how important the ACA and Medicaid are to you. Sample tweets:
Vote NO on Senate budget. People w #disabilities rely on #ACA for comprehensive health care http://bit.ly/2jjeZau

Affordable Care Act = affordable comprehensive care for people w/#disabilities. Don't repeal it!thtp://bit.ly/2jjeZau

11 million at risk of losing Medicaid if #ACA repealed http://kaiserf.am/2gacF4c

Twitter handles of all US Senators
Twitter handles of all US Representatives

Medicaid - Block Grants & Per Capita Caps
Currently the federal government covers a percentage of states' Medicaid costs. Under Medicaid block grants, the federal government would pay the state a specific lump sum (likely based on historical spending), rather than a percentage of the state's costs. Under per capita caps, the federal government would pay the state a fixed amount for each beneficiary instead. Both options drastically reduce federal funding for state Medicaid programs, with gaps increasing over time relative to current spending. To counter the significant costs that are shifted to states, they are given 'flexibility' to make changes to their program. (source: National Council on Independent Living)

Learn more about how repealing the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid Block Grants & Per Capita Caps would affect people with disabilities


For further information, please contact:
Rev. Kate Epperly D. Min., Coordinator, Justice and Advocacy for Family and Children's Ministries
Disciples Home Missions
KEpperly@dhm.disciples.org
508-209-1005
www.discipleshomemissions.org

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