Monday, March 6, 2017

Medicaid Is on the Chopping Block

I have heard that the House of Representatives will take action to repeal Obamacare, the Affordable Care Act, on March 8, 2017 through reconciliation legislation. Reconciliation is a process by which the House can put a lot of stuff in one bill without hearings and act speedily in the name of saving money.

I have read summary documents from the House and from disability organizations. The bottom line is that money that has been available for people newly covered under Medicaid expansion in some states and money for community-based services and supports will shrink and then disappear. If states want to continue these services, they will need to find money elsewhere. A lot of people with disabilities will either need to rely on their families for support or enter institutions. People that could have benefitted from Medicaid expansion may need to find their health coverage elsewhere. People that already have coverage may see it change in a bad way.

One of the things I read suggested to me that if a state has a robust lottery program, that could affect their Medicaid allotments, that is could result in a reduction in their Medicaid allotment.

There are plenty of places to go to get more details on the pending House reconciliation bill (http://www.c-c-d.org/fichiers/CCD-MedicaidLeaveBehind_Final03012017.pdf; http://www.c-c-d.org/fichiers/CCD_ProtectACA_03012017.pdf).

At a minimum contact your governor, Democrat or Republican, and let them know they will be left holding the bag if this reconciliation bill becomes law. They won’t like it.

Also, let your elected representative in the House know that this proposed legislation has a ton of unknown consequences on the economy –

·      Family members leaving jobs to stay home to take care of a love one with a disability
·      Emergency room costs going up exponentially
·      New or increased costs for maintaining institutions

There are smart governors and members of the House of Representatives. Urge everyone to slow down, hold hearings, and give thoughtful, measured attention to how to amend the Affordable Care Act.

Thank you.

Common Grounder

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