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Action Alert! Tell Your Senators We Need Emergency HCBS Funding in the Next COVID-19 Relief Bill!

by | Feb 17, 2021 | Action Alert, Blog, Disability Rights, Health

February 17, 2021

Tell Your Senators We Need Emergency HCBS Funding in the Next COVID-19 Relief Bill! 

Many disabled people rely on home and community-based services (HCBS) to live in the community. Now, at a time when COVID-19 is rapidly spreading, these services are more critical than ever as they keep people with disabilities out of institutions, where the virus is spreading at devastating rates. The disability community needs emergency funding for Medicaid home and community-based services. That funding has not been included in any of the COVID relief legislation passed since the beginning of the pandemic, but we must change that. 

Congress is putting together the next COVID-19 relief package now, and the House of Representatives has already included emergency HCBS funding in their version of the COVID relief package. Now we need the Senate to do the same. We’re asking you to participate in our week of action, and ask your Senators to make sure the final COVID-19 relief bill includes the funding our community needs. Here’s how you can participate:

Take Action

Call your Senators! 

You can call your senator and use this script: 

Hello! My name is [your full name], and I am from [city]. I’m calling to ask Senator [Name] to make sure the Senate’s COVID relief package includes emergency funding for Medicaid home and community-based services.

Home and community-based services funded by Medicaid allow people with disabilities like [me/ my family member/ my friends/ my neighbor/ etc.] to continue living safely at home. These services keep people with disabilities out of institutions, where COVID-19 is currently killing thousands. Because of the pandemic, community-based service providers are struggling to stay open, and without emergency funds, some will be forced to close. 

The House has already included emergency funding for Medicaid home- and community-based services in their COVID relief bill. We just need the Senate to include it too. This funding is a life and death issue for disabled [residents of your state]. Can I count on Senator [Name] to stand up for people with disabilities by making sure that funding is in the Senate bill?

Need help making calls? Check out our proxy calling system: https://proxycaller.org/ 

Want to help make calls for other people? Send an email to info@proxycaller.org with your name and preferred email.

Email your Senators! 

Contacting Congress provides unique links to email your Senators directly. You can use the same script you did while calling.

Engage your Senators on Social Media! 

Tweet your Senators – find their Twitter handles here.

Sample Social Media Posts:

Take action TODAY to protect the disability community during COVID-19: https://www.aapd.com/action-alert-hcbs-funding/  #MedicaidCantWait

The Senate emergency COVID-19 relief funding includes NO funding for community-based services — services that many people with disabilities rely on to stay out of institutions, where COVID-19 is spreading. Take action TODAY. https://www.aapd.com/action-alert-hcbs-funding/ #MedicaidCantWait #HCBS

The Senate is refusing to include #HCBS funding in the new COVID-19 relief package. Don’t let them get away with it — call/email TODAY to let your elected officials know we’re watching! #MedicaidCantWait https://www.aapd.com/action-alert-hcbs-funding/

Without #HCBS funding, people with disabilities risk being forced into institutions, where COVID-19 is running rampant. Call and tell your Senator that #MedicaidCantWait using this script: https://www.aapd.com/action-alert-hcbs-funding/

Join the Facebook event for scripts, tips, and check ins throughout the week.

Our community has been left out of the picture when it comes to COVID relief over and over again. Enough is enough. When HCBS is at risk, our lives are on the line: #MedicaidCantWait!

*Script language from ASAN.