The US Senate is moving quickly on health-care changes that would hurt people with autism, including proposals to cut and cap Medicaid funds and repeal health-care protections like coverage for pre-existing conditions. A vote on the Senate health-care proposal is likely to take place the week of June 26, and so far, no public hearings on the proposed legislation are planned. Time is very short to stop these changes!
Take 5 minutes to call your US senators!
Sen. Richard Burr
202-224-3154 (DC office)
Sen. Thom Tillis
202-224-6342 (DC office)
Tell your senators:
- 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.
- Do not cut or cap Medicaid funds. North Carolina has 8- to 10-year waiting lists for many autism services.
- Do not allow states to opt out of covering basic health care, and please keep affordable care for people with pre-existing conditions.
- Add in any other concerns you have regarding health-care changes.
To learn more about how to advocate with your legislators, see our website.
Thank you for taking action! Your call matters. Staff and senators are noting the issues and counting calls. 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 care, and other services.
The American Health Care Act and the recent budget announcement both 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.
The Autism Society of North Carolina will continue to monitor federal policy changes and post updates and links to resources about health-care proposals. Please be on the lookout for our action alerts so that you know when the autism community needs you to advocate with your elected representatives. Sign up for public policy emails on our website.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