Our trade associations, NYACRA and NYSRA are calling for action! We need to bring our voice to our elected officials right away. The changes in legislation that are being proposed could have a negative impact on the people we support. Please take a few minutes and make your voice heard.
Below is the message from NYSACRA and NYSRA.
Dear NYSACRA Member,
Thanks to our colleagues at NYSRA, we’re providing you with the following information and advocacy request related to the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and replacement with the American Health Care Act.
On March 24th, the initial effort to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act with the passage of the American Health Care Act was pulled from a floor vote in the US House of Representatives after the President and House leadership realized they did not have sufficient votes to secure passage. Many have predicted that negotiations to revise the bill would result in future efforts to secure passage. Over the past month, most of those negotiations have taken place with the House Freedom Caucus, resulting in what many are characterizing as changes that make this legislation more damaging to populations of people dependent on Medicaid, including those with disabilities, than the version considered in March. And, it now appears that the next attempt at securing House passage may occur as early as next week.
Some of what may be driving this renewed effort to pass the proposed American Health Care Act (aside from efforts to influence the public perception of President Trump’s first 100 days) is the President’s proposed tax reduction plan, recently released. By nearly all accounts, the proposed tax plan will significantly add to the federal budget deficit without significant adjustments to Federal expenditures – and the White House Proposes Slashing Tax Rates, Significantly Aiding Wealthy – This essentially means that the primary avenue by which the Federal government will be forced to make adjustments is through budget reduction, with healthcare – specifically Medicaid – being one of the prime targets.
Changes like those being discussed to the Medicaid program currently would fundamentally change this program in existence from the 1960s. Currently, the program is an entitlement program, meaning that any individual who meets the eligibility criteria is entitled to services, as outlined in the State Plan Amendment or Waiver. If the program were to be restructured to a block grant or the per capital cap currently being considered, this would force states to place limits on services, in some capacity. And should this happen, it is widely believed it will be virtually impossible to change the program back to its original entitlement structure.
And should the changes being discussed take effect, it would essentially place NYS in a position where it would need to take action on at least one of three fronts:
· reduce benefits,
· increase cost sharing requirements on beneficiaries,
· and/or limitations on/changes to eligibility.
NYSACRA and NYSRA are strongly urging members to contact their members of Congress this week to articulate concerns to members of Congress regarding the proposed legislation being considered and the anticipated impact on the people you support. Members of Congress can be reached by calling the US Capitol Switchboard and asking to speak with your member – (202) 224-3121. All members of Congress should be contacted, but especially those members of the NY Republican delegation who are being counted on for their votes in order to pass this legislation.
We strongly urge NYSACRA members to be in touch with your members of Congress – particularly those who provide supports in the districts of Republican members of the NY Congressional delegation who have indicated their support for this bill.