It is now clear that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is back, and even worse than before. Congress will be in recess April 10 – 21. This means Members of Congress will be at home in their states/districts. The bottom line is they need to hear from you.
We know that calls, sharing personal stories, showing up at Town hall meetings, work – remind them that the ACA and Medicaid are essential to people with disabilities and their families.
The failure of the House of Representatives to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA) showed the incredible power of grassroots activism, but the threats are now even greater.
Take Action During April 10-21 Congressional Recess
Here are three ways you can #JoinOurFight during recess to protect vital supports and services:
- Stop what you are doing and call YOUR Members of Congress – then ask your friends & family to call. Click here for a short script and contact information to call your Members of Congress. It only takes a few minutes to tell them how important Medicaid and the ACA are in your life.
- Have 2 more minutes? Follow The Arc on Facebook & Twitter to participate in #WeActWednesday. Each Wednesday The Arc shares a quick way to take action on a current advocacy issue on our Facebook and Twitter. Please take action, share, like, and retweet every Wednesday
- Have a free night? Attend Town Hall meetings. Showing up matters so much. Check out this resource listing all scheduled town hall meetings across the country, bring your friends and family and ask your Members of Congress to protect the ACA and Medicaid.
Go to www.thearc.org to keep up to date with information and how you can help.
The Arc Maryland is collecting stories to add to Maryland’s Medicaid to put a face on real lives that could be impacted to educate our elected officials. Click here for the Maryland Medicaid Fact Sheet. If you are willing to share your story, please send to firstname.lastname@example.org with a brief story, photo and a signed release.
Members of the House of Representatives and the Trump Administration are renewing discussions of changes to the American Health Care Act (H.R. 1628) in order to gain enough support for passage of this dangerous bill. As you know, the AHCA repeals the Affordable Care Act and decimates the Medicaid program. The latest efforts are meant to attract more support for the bill by giving states the option to waive important consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act. For example, states could chose to ignore the essential health benefits requirement. The essential health benefits were designed to ensure that health plans cover basic needs such as prescription drugs, mental health services, rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices that have been critically important to people with disabilities and chronic health conditions. Without a requirement that basic services be included in the health plans, insurers are likely to drop coverage of therapies or medications that would attract people with more health care needs.
Another dangerous change being discussed is letting states waive the requirement for community rating. This would allow the insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions whatever they want, essentially making the pre-existing condition protections meaningless. The combination of these changes would make it nearly impossible for people with pre-existing conditions to find affordable plans that cover basic health care services.
Let us not forget that the bill was already very dangerous to people with disabilities. It cuts $880 billion out of the Medicaid program and uses it to help pay for tax cuts for the wealthy, corporations, and providers. The federal government would no longer share in the costs of providing health care services and community living supports beyond the capped amount. It weakens Medicaid by ending the Medicaid expansion earlier, offering Medicaid block grants to states, and promoting work requirements.
Here are some ideas to make the most of the April 10-21 Congressional recess:
- Share our Latest Action Alert with Your Networks. Take Action: Tell Congress to Protect Vital Programs. Share this widely to make sure your Senators and Representative hear this important message from their constituents.
- Invite your Member of Congress to see The Arc in action. A great way for Members of Congress to learn more about the supports and services needed for people with disabilities and their families is to meet people first hand. Do you know a family who would be willing to host a visit to their home or have an upcoming event that you could invite your Congressperson to? Here are tips for meeting with your Members.
- Attend Town Hall meetings: Showing up matters. Activists at town hall meetings helped the American Health Care Act lose a lot of momentum. Check out this resource listing all scheduled town hall meetings across the country (it is regularly updated). If your Senator(s) or Representative have any scheduled, please attend and bring your staff, volunteers, friends, and family. Make signs (How about “The ACA & Medicaid save lives” or “Medicaid = Community Living”) and wear orange to get noticed. If there is any media there, offer to share why you are attending and the importance of programs like Medicaid and SSI for people with disabilities.
- And while you are at it – Keep the Media Coverage Coming! Chapters of The Arc have been getting attention from their Members of Congress by getting local media coverage. Please contact your local press to let them know how critical the ACA and Medicaid are to people with I/DD and their families.
- Participate in our “#WeActWednesday” Social Media Campaign. Each Wednesday The Arc shares a quick way to take action on a current advocacy issue on our Facebook and Twitter. Please take action, share, like, and retweet every Wednesday! Feel free to reach out to Pam Katz, Digital Marketing Associate, at 202-534-3710 with questions about getting involved in #WeActWednesday or social media in general.