Call to Action from NCIL: Saving the Affordable Care Act and Fighting Medicaid Block Grants!

Publication Date: 
Jan 11 2017

Call to Action: Saving the Affordable Care Act and Fighting Medicaid Block Grants!

There are a lot of questions about the upcoming healthcare threats our community will be facing. We know that Congress wants to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and recent reports say that House Republicans are aiming to get a repeal bill on President-Elect Trump’s desk by February 20. We also know that there have been proposals to turn Medicaid into block grants or per capita caps. In this alert you can read more about what this all means, as well as NCIL’s strategy to fight against cuts to our coverage. Please make sure to read and act on the action items at the end of this message!

The Affordable Care Act 

Block Granting Medicaid

Call to Action

The threats to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid are very real, and the disability community is justifiably afraid. We must work together strategically to preserve access to as many of our needed supports and services as possible. While changes to Medicaid are likely forthcoming, it is clear that repealing the ACA is the Republican Congress’s top priority. Knowing that, our work must first focus on saving what we can. 

Republican leaders have already expressed that they intend to preserve access to coverage for people with pre-existing conditions. While we cannot take this for granted, we can take some comfort in the fact that there has been a commitment to us on this issue. That said, we must continue to follow the conversation so we can hold Congress accountable.

On the other hand, there has been no public conversation in Congress regarding some of the other provisions that are vital to the disability community, including Money Follows the Person (MFP) and the Community First Choice Option (CFCO). These are two initiatives that are not partisan, and further, they do not have to be linked to the ACA to continue. In fact, MFP was initiated well before the ACA under the Bush administration, and CFCO was not included in the original ACA legislation and was only added because of the work of disability advocates. Both of these programs help people with disabilities transition from institutions to the community and receive the services and supports we need at home. 

At this time, there are two things we’re asking of NCIL members:

First, ask your members of Congress to save Money Follows the Person and the Community First Choice Option. Please call or write your Representatives and Senators and tell them how important these two programs are to you and to the disability community! There will also soon be a sign-on letter circulating that you can use as a draft letter to send to Congress. We will forward you more details when the letter is finalized.

Second, we need your stories of how the ACA and Medicaid have helped you! We’ve received a request for stories from members of Congress who hope to salvage what they can of the ACA. Please share with us how the ACA, Medicaid, MFP, CFCO, or the Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) have helped you to live more independently as a person with a disability. You can send your stories to NCIL Policy Analyst Lindsay Baran at lindsay@ncil.org

As movement on these issues progress, you will be receiving more information and calls to action from NCIL.