Contact your Senators today to vote against the BCRA!

Posted by Peter T. Wilderotter in Daily Dose on June 27, 2017 # Advocacy and Policy

As you know, the Senate may vote as early as this week on legislation which would dismantle key provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that protect the health and quality of life of people with disabilities. It’s imperative that we act now to stop this bill from passing.

The Senate proposal, called the “Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA)”, would defund and significantly change Medicaid from a partnership between the federal government and state governments to a system of “per capita caps.” This means that the amount of money that the federal government provides to states would be capped, or limited, to a certain fixed amount per Medicaid recipient.

People with disabilities account for 15 percent of total Medicaid enrollment and 42 percent of program spending due to their greater health needs and more intensive care requirements. And Medicaid has resulted in years of slow but steady progress in expanding access to community life for people with disabilities. Slashing Medicaid funding would torpedo this progress.

The Senate bill also allows states to opt out of the Affordable Care Act’s marketplaces and “essential health benefits” requirements. A new waiver process would allow states to overhaul their insurance markets, including ending the essential health benefit requirement and specific subsidies that benefit low income Americans. Without specifically named essential health benefits, insurers have the power to decide what conditions and tests they will or will not cover, which may very well include disabilities.

Should the Senate pass their bill, the House would then abandon their American Health Care Act and simply move to pass the Senate bill, virtually ensuring it becomes law. This is our last chance to stop Congress from causing massive harm to people with disabilities.

The entire disability population is at risk ,which is why we need our advocates to share their concerns and perspectives with legislators by explaining how the BCRA would have a devastating impact to the health, independence and quality of life of individuals with disabilities.

Please send a message to your Senators TODAY urging them to vote against the BCRA or any bill that doesn’t protect people with disabilities. Simply add your information at the right to send your message. The process will take only a few minutes, but it will have a life-saving impact.

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