I am writing to you as advocates from across the country who care about services and supports for children, youth, and adults with disabilities.
We are at a point when It is crucial to mobilize advocacy against the Senate bill that is being considered to deconstruct the Medicaid program.
After today’s reveal of the new Senate health care bill, the information we have from staff is that the Republicans are close to having their 50 votes needed to move the bill forward.
The vote on the bill is likely to take place late Thursday or sometime Friday of the coming week.
This is crunch time and we really need people to be speaking loudly to oppose the bill.
- Still contains provisions to deconstruct, cap, and cut Medicaid;
- Still allows for waivers to eliminate the essential health care benefits;
- Still allows for waivers to disregard the prohibition to discriminate against pre-existing conditions;
- Still eliminates the incentive to provide home and community-based services by eliminating the FMAP increase; and
- Contains a new section that will create two risk pools—one that will segregate high health care need individuals from those with lower needs—and increase premium costs.
Now is the time to mobilize—Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday—unfortunately, there are no weekends while this fight continues. The most important Senators to convince are Sens. Heller (NV), Capito (WV), Murkowski (AK), Cassidy (LA), and Portman (OH), in that order.
What you can do is call your Senators; e-mail them; visit their offices; write short stories about yourself, your child, your parent, your relatives, or your friends who have a disability and need the support of Medicaid and health care—include a picture with your story; video yourself and share your story on Facebook and Twitter—make sure you include your Senator so she or he can see your social media; and ask friends and family to do the same. Your messages and stories are the best way to combat this bad policy.
As great advocates from across the country , your help in mobilizing others tomorrow and over the weekend is essential to defeating this bill. Despite what you are hearing in the media, our information is the votes are almost there to pass the bill. The next four days are crucial. Now is the time to fight and to fight together. Thank you for any and all help you can provide.
Disability Policy Director
Special Committee on Aging
Senator Bob Casey, Ranking Member
628 Hart Senate Office Building