Immediate Action Needed!
defeat the Graham-Cassidy bill proposed as a replacement of the ACA
Graham-Cassidy, like its predecessors, threatens to undermine hard-won battles for home and community-based supports and adequate health care coverage for everyone. Graham-Cassidy is yet another raw deal for people with disabilities, being rushed through Congress without input from the constituents that have the most to lose!
This bill would cut Medicaid funding to Maryland, resulting in a $2.1 billion loss by 2020 and a $4.8 billion loss by 2026. Maryland’s legislative team, including Governor Hogan, OPPOSE this bill but they need your help to send Congress a message. Please take action by educating yourself and then rallying against this bill!
How would the Graham-Cassidy bill impact you or your family member?
A significant part of state Medicaid budgets includes care for people with disabilities, due to their complex and long-term care needs. Cuts to Medicaid would force states to reduce services, cut optional services, restrict eligibility and increase waiting lists. States cannot afford to provide the current level of Medicaid-funded services without adequate federal matching funds.
- The Home and Community Based Services (HCBS) on which most people with disabilities rely to live and participate in their communities are especially at risk for funding cuts and caps because they are optional and could be completely eliminated. These are NOT guaranteed or required services!
- Many support services like personal care, specialized therapies, intensive mental health services, special education services, and employment supports would be discontinued, because they are not required to be covered by private insurance.
- The Community First Choice program would end, but states would still be required to maintain funding for institutions even though providing services in community settings is more cost-efficient. Institutions could become the only way for people with disabilities receive services.
- States would be allowed to waive protections for people with pre-existing conditions (including people with disabilities) and to waive the current requirement for plans to cover “essential health benefits” that help people with disabilities, like habilitative and rehabilitative services. States could also allow annual and lifetime limits on services.
- Medicaid expansion and marketplace subsidies would be phased out, turning them into an inadequate block grant program that would end in 10 years. This means people on waiting lists would likely never receive services.
- This bill would result in a 15% decrease of traditional Medicaid spending for people with disabilities and a 31% decrease of traditional Medicaid spending for children. This is unacceptable, especially given the already great unmet needs in our community.
What do you need to tell Congress?
- Oppose the Graham-Cassidy bill or any bill that caps or cuts Medicaid, cuts healthcare for people with disabilities, and does not protect people with pre-existing conditions.
- Instead work in a bi-partisan fashion to protect and improve the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid.
What can you do?
- Participate in one or more of the advocacy events listed below. Grassroots advocacy is the best way to effectuate change in Congress, and personal stories are the MOST effective form of advocacy. Talk about why is Medicaid important to you!
- Share and ask your family and friends to support our efforts. Reach out to people you know in key states (Maine, Alaska, West Virginia, Ohio, Arizona, North Carolina and Tennessee) and share this information. Then ask them to also make calls to their Senators and ask them to OPPOSE this bill.
- Activate your social media. Social media directed at key Senators is critical to building a wave of opposition. Tell ALL Senators that Graham-Cassidy is yet another raw deal for people with disabilities, being rushed through Congress without input from the constituents that have the most to lose! Use #SaveMedicaid in your posts and tag or call-out these Senators: Senator Collins (ME), Senator Murkowski (AK), Senator Capito (WV), Senator Portman (OH), Senator McCain (AZ).