On May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives passed (by a 217-213 vote), the American Health Care Act (AHCA), legislation to repeal and replace key portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) that would significantly cut and cap federal funding for Medicaid by $834 billion dollars.
While this bill has already passed the House, we must act now to urge the Senate to preserve Medicaid expansion and reject per-capita-caps and block grants in their proposals, and encourage their colleagues to do the same. These drastic changes to our healthcare system will impact the lives of millions of Americans with disabilities, who rely on the current system for their health, functioning, independence, and wellbeing.
Your Academy continues to advocate for the specialty to ensure that rehabilitation is preserved in a meaningful way as a part of essential health benefits packages adopted by the states, as well as advocating for access to appropriate rehabilitation and habilitation through plans participating in state health insurance exchanges. We need your help. Your patients need your help.
Please take a moment to send a customizable email to your senators as soon as possible, in opposition to the provisions in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and its proposed changes to the Medicaid program.
Jennifer Zumsteg, MD | Chair, Health Policy and Legislation Committee
Stuart Glassman, MD | Chair, State Advocacy Subcommittee
Reject Proposals That Threaten Healthcare for Individuals with Disabilities
As a physiatrist, I am deeply concerned with provisions in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and its proposed changes to the Medicaid program. My patients, especially those with developmental and long-term disabilities, depend on Medicaid for many specialized services that are unavailable or unaffordable through private insurance. As the Senate prepares it health care reform bill, I urge you to reject any proposal that would jeopardize healthcare for one of the nation's most vulnerable populations.
The projected loss of $834 billion federal Medicaid dollars would be detrimental to the 10 million Medicaid participants with disabilities. The per capita cap option will result in reductions in eligibility, services, and/or provider rates while the block grant option would do even further harm by allowing states to eliminate basic standards and safeguards. My patients are at great risk because home- and community-based services are optional Medicaid services that many states will likely cut first as they address budgetary deficits.
Pledge your support for proposals that protect the health and quality of life of millions of Americans with disabilities by preserving access to habilitative and rehabilitative services as allocated by the essential health benefits provision in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and by preserving the current structure of the Medicaid Program.