Action Alert! Rally and Press Conference to #SaveMedicaid
March 17, 2017
Update [March 21, 2017]
The House of Representatives is expected to vote on the American Health Care Act as early as this Thursday (3/24). A vote in the Senate is possible as early as next week.
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and former Vice President Joe Biden are scheduled to host a press conference on the American Health Care Act tomorrow at 10am ET.
Event: Press Conference Event on American Health Care Act
Date: Wednesday, March 22, 2017
Time: 10:00 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.
Place: East front of the U.S. Capitol, on the House side, which faces the Supreme Court (outdoors)
Speakers: House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi joined by former Vice President Joe Biden and others
Wednesday, March 22, is the day before the House is planning a full floor vote for the American Health Care Act (AHCA). We need you to take action now! Please join hundreds of activists across the country by hosting a press conference to oppose the AHCA on Wednesday, March 22, at 2:00 p.m. Eastern. At that same time, disability activists will be in DC taking action to stop this bill from moving forward. We need members of Congress to hear from their constituents around the country! Your Representatives need to hear that you oppose Medicaid cuts to the community-based services that people with disabilities need!
Resource from the Center for Public Representation to help people with disabilities, their families, and advocates/allies understand the impact of the changes proposed in the AHCA and give them the tools to advocate.
Senator Bob Casey (D-PA) has scheduled a press conference for Wednesday, March 22nd from 11am-11:45am ET on the Senate lawn (directly across from the East Senate steps – across from Supreme Court). Senator Casey will speak about the House’s American Health Care Act and the proposal to institute per capita allotments, tear down the existing Medicaid program, and create a program that will increase waiting lists for home and community based services, cut $880 billion in Medicaid funding over 10 years, and deny people with disabilities the supports they need to have control of their lives.
We hope that hundreds of advocates can join the Senator at the press event and then will move into the halls of the House and Senate buildings to advocate to oppose this gutting of this essential program.
Date: Wednesday, March 22nd
Time: 11:00-11:45 a.m.
Location: Senate “Swamp” directly across from the east steps of the Senate wing of the Capitol (across from the Supreme Court)
Other Members of Congress are expected to join Senator Casey, including Senator Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire and former Senator Tom Harkin.
Senator Schumer will hold a rally for Medicaid around 4:00 or 5:00 p.m. that day as well. That rally will be focused beyond disability and include many other stakeholder groups.
Finally, it is likely that after the 11:00 press event Senator Casey will go to the floor of the Senate and speak at length about the impact the cuts to the Medicaid programs will have on people with disabilities and their families. It would be great to have some advocates and self-advocates in the gallery as he makes his comments.
Please help marshal the troops and get as many people to the 11:00 a.m. event as possible. This press event will be a rallying cry focusing on Medicaid and disability.
If you are unable to attend the event
If you are unable to attend the event in person you can still help #SaveMedicaid!
- Contact your Members of Congress – call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be director to your Senator or Representative.
- Contact your Governor – USA.gov can direct you to your governor’s contact information.
- Tweet your Members of Congress and Governor and use the hashtags #SaveMedicaid, #KeepAmericaCovered, or #CoverageMatters.
If you need guidance on how to get engaged and advocate to your Member of Congress check out these resources:
- Civic Engagement Toolbox For Self-Advocates – Autistic Self Advocacy Network
- How to Set up a Meeting with Your Member of Congress – Families USA
Message: Do NOT cut and cap Medicaid!
Medicaid is a jointly funded program with matching state and federal funds that benefits 10 million non-elderly people with disabilities. Under a Medicaid per capita cap, the federal government would set a limit on how much to reimburse states based on enrollment in the Medicaid program. Unlike current law, funding would not be based on the actual cost of providing services. Much like the proposed block grants, the intent of the per capita caps is to restructure the program and save the federal government money. Inevitably there will be cuts in funding in the states. The negative impacts to Medicaid recipients could include:
- Losing home and community-based services and supports. Waiting lists would quickly grow.
- Losing other critical services such as personal care, mental health, prescription drugs, and rehabilitative services. If funds become scarcer, states may decide to stop providing these services altogether.
- Being forced into unnecessary institutionalization. States could return to the days of “warehousing” people with disabilities in institutions.
- Shifting the costs to individuals or family members to make up for the federal cuts. The costs of providing health care and long-term services and supports will not go away, but will be shifted to individuals, parents, states, and providers.