Sign On to Our Letter to Governor Burgum Regarding the BCRA(Better Care Improvement Act)
Family Voices of North Dakota will be delivering this letter to Governor Burgum, and Senator Hoeven's and Senator Heitkamp's office on July 26, 2017.
If your organization would like to sign on, please send contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org before COB July 26, 2017.
If you'd like to sign on as an individual, please send your full name and city to email@example.com by 5p on July 26, 2017.
July 26, 2017
Office of Governor Doug Burgum
600 East Boulevard Avenue Bismarck, ND 58505-0100
Dear Governor Burgum,
The undersigned individuals and organizations are all dedicated to ensuring the health and well-being of children in North Dakota, particularly children and youth with special health care needs, and we respectfully urge you to advise Senator Hoeven and Senator Heitkamp to oppose the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA).
As you know, BCRA will fundamentally restructure and make drastic cuts in the Medicaid program. Our state will lose billions of dollars in federal funding if this bill is enacted. Unless state taxes are raised to cover the shortfall, the state will be compelled to cut Medicaid eligibility, benefits, and reimbursement, hurting the 43,368 children in the state who rely on this critical program. Among these children are nearly 20,000 who have special health care needs.
Please bear in mind that the proposed changes to Medicaid will have far-reaching implications. Costs will be shifted to other state and local agencies (and hence local taxpayers), health care providers, families, and individuals. For example, costs will be shifted to school districts when Medicaid reimbursement is cut for therapies mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act. And, because Medicaid covers children in foster care and those adopted from foster care, costs will also be shifted to adoptive parents, foster parents, and grandparents raising grandchildren as a result of the opioid epidemic. In fact, costs will be shifted to all of the families who rely on Medicaid coverage for their children, and it is likely that some children will actually lose Medicaid coverage completely.
We must point out that the Senate bill's "carve out" for "blind and disabled" children will fail to protect these children from the effects of drastic cuts in Medicaid funding. In fact, the likely reductions in provider payments will affect these children and others with special health care needs disproportionately, since they rely on specialists who may be forced to shut their doors or stop taking Medicaid patients if reimbursement is reduced. Medicaid cuts will also disproportionately affect children with special health care needs who receive "optional" services, such as home health care, and those who are eligible through waivers, such as waivers that enable medically fragile children to live at home with their families rather than in nursing homes.
Given its likely harm to the health of our state's children, particularly those with special health care needs, we implore you to do all you can to prevent BCRA from becoming law.