The Senate is planning to vote on a “motion to proceed,” the first step in bringing a health-care bill to the floor for a vote early next week. At this time, it’s not clear which health-care bill will be voted on.
Please keep the pressure up and ask your Senators not to cut or cap Medicaid and not to make changes that result in less health-care coverage for people.
The two bills are:
- The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)
- The Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA)
Both of these bills would lead to massive cuts and loss of health care for people with disabilities. The BCRA would cut Medicaid by $756 billion and would lead to 22 million people losing their health care. The cuts to Medicaid would increase over time, leading to a 35 percent cut by 2036. The ORRA would eliminate health-care coverage for 17 million people by next year and 32 million people by 2026. It would also increase health-care plan premiums by at least 100 percent. Both bills would cut home- and community-based services to people with disabilities. Both bills also weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions. You can learn more about the bills and their CBO scores here and here.
Take 5 minutes to call your US senators NOW!
Sen. Richard Burr
202-224-3154 (DC office)
Sen. Thom Tillis
202-224-6342 (DC office)
1) Share a brief version of your story: who you are and how Medicaid cuts and health-care changes would affect you and/or your family. If you write, limit it to three short paragraphs or less.
- I am your constituent, I live in [your NC city] in [your NC zip code].
- I am a person with autism, or I am a family member of someone with autism, or I am a professional in the autism field.
- I care deeply about health care and supports for people with autism, including Medicaid.
- [If you or your family gets Medicaid-funded services] I/We depend on Medicaid services/long-term supports to live in our community. [Briefly share your personal story of how Medicaid or other health care services help or could help; that is what will make a difference.]
- Ask them to: Vote NO on cutting and capping Medicaid. Vote NO on changes that would remove protections for pre-existing conditions and for essential health benefits. Vote NO on a motion to proceed.
2) You can also help by filming a short, 90-second video talking about what Medicaid and health care mean for you, your child, your family. Post it on Sen. Burr’s Facebook page, Sen. Tillis’s Facebook page, and/or on Twitter, tagging @SenatorBurr and @SenThomTillis with #VoteNo #NoCutsNoCaps.
To learn more about how to advocate with your legislators, see our website.
Thank you for taking action. Your call, your email, your video matters. Staff and senators are noting the stories coming in to their offices. We know there is a lot going on – this makes your advocacy all the more important!
Medicaid home- and community-based waivers, such as North Carolina’s Innovations and CAP programs, allow people with serious disabilities to live in their own or family homes, hold jobs, and participate in communities. Costs for vital treatments and supports could shift to individuals or their family members, possibly putting those services out of reach. This would affect those who are currently getting Medicaid, those on the waiting list, and those who may need these services in the future, as well as people with private health-care coverage.
For families that have loved ones with autism, the consequences of these plans could include:
- Already lengthy waiting lists of 8-10 years for disability waiver services will grow to record levels, and services may be severely limited. General Assembly legislators are moving to reduce NC waiting lists; these changes at the federal level could stop this from happening.
- If funds become scarcer, states may decide to stop providing behavior and other therapy services, personal care, mental health treatment or other optional Medicaid services.
- Coverage for intensive behavior services (including ABA) for children under Medicaid’s EPSDT could end.
- Schools may no longer be reimbursed for services. This would only increase the burden on schools.
- People could lose health care protections for pre-existing conditions, as well as coverage for habilitative services, mental health services, and other health care
The proposed changes to health care and the budget recommendations all highlight the importance of understanding the complexities of Medicaid. Our friends at the Autistic Self Advocacy Network developed a great plain-language resource guide to Medicaid.
Tags: ASNC, autism, autism advocacy, autism health care, autism medicaid, autism Medicaid Services, autism resources, autism society north carolina, autism society of NC, Autism Society of North Carolina, Autism spectrum, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, autism support, autism treatment, medicaid