Now is the time to reach out and tell Oregon's Senators that the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will hurt people with disabilities. The AHCA restructures Medicaid and pulls $834 billion dollars from the program over the next ten years. This will seriously impact services that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) depend on to live, work and be members of their communities. It will mean less money will come to Oregon to fund the services you depend on each day.
The AHCA is currently in the US Senate. Our Senators need to hear from you about how you use your Medicaid services at home, at work and in your community. The more they know about how Oregonians use Medicaid, the better job they can do in Washington DC fighting to protect the services you depend on every day.
Why is Medicaid restructure part of the AHCA?
Republicans say the AHCA repeals and replaces the Affordable Care Act, but it actually goes farther than that and makes drastic cuts to other parts of the Medicaid program. It impacts all people who use Medicaid, not just those who got coverage from the Affordable Care Act.
Are you using Medicaid?
For the most part, IDD Services are Medicaid services. You may use Medicaid because you access the following: Community First Choice Option (K Plan), the CIIS children's waivers, the Support Services waiver (brokerage services), or the Comprehensive waiver.
Services that self-advocates and families depend on from Medicaid include attendant care (personal support worker or direct support professional), respite care, employment supports, group homes, foster homes, IDD transportation, skills training and more.
Why is the Medicaid restructure bad for Oregonians with IDD?
Per Capita Caps: Oregon would get an amount of federal dollars for each person covered by Medicaid. There could be one cost for all people or there could be costs for each population covered (like people with disabilities). The per person cost would go up each year slower than costs go up now. This means the federal dollars would cover less as time goes on leaving Oregon to cover more.
With less federal money for Medicaid, Oregon will have to pick up more of the costs. The Oregon Health Authority analysis shows the AHCA could cost Oregon an additional $2.6 billion dollars between the years of 2020 and 2023. It is unlikely that Oregon would be able to increase spending cover more of the costs of Medicaid (see the report
). This means Oregon would probably have to change provider rates, eligibility for who can get services, which services they can get and how much of a service they can have. Oregon may have to start wait lists.
People's health, services and lives are at stake! You can help:
- Reach out to your Senators today at 202-224-2131.
- Tell them to stop AHCA and cuts to Medicaid.
- Explain why Medicaid is essential to people with disabilities and their families.
Message: Do NOT cut and cap Medicaid!
Cutting or capping Medicaid means less federal dollars coming to Oregon's Medicaid system. With less money, Oregon will have to look at options that will make it harder for people to use Medicaid to be part of their community, like:
- Starting wait lists for services. In the past, Oregonians with IDD had to wait years to get services. This made it hard for people to have supports to live and work in community.
- Reducing provider rates. These rates are low today. Making them lower could mean providers stop serving people who use Medicaid.
- Reducing how many people can access services. This would leave people out who need and use services today.
- Reducing how many services people can get by putting caps on services.
What can you do?
In the next few days Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley are holding town halls around Oregon. Attend! Speak up!
Town Hall Meetings with Senator Merkley
May 30, 2017 @ 6:30 PM
Clackamas County Town Hall
Clackamas High School Gym
14486 SE 122nd Avenue, Clackamas
May 28, 2017 @ 4:30 PM
Columbia County Town Hall
St. Helens Senior Center
375 S. 15th Street, St. Helens
May 28, 2017 @ 12:30 PM
Clatsop County Town Hall
Warrenton High School
1700 S. Main Avenue, Warrenton
Town Hall Meetings with Senator Wyden
May 26, 2017 @ 2:00 PM
Clackamas County Town Hall
Gladstone High School Gym
18800 Portland Avenue, Gladstone
May 27, 2017 @ 11:00 AM
Marion County Town Hall
2615 Portland Rd NE, Salem
May 27, 2017 @ 2:30 PM
Benton County Town Hall
Philomath High School Auditorium
2054 Applegate Street, Philomath
May 28, 2017 @ 11:00 AM
Lane County Town Hall
Florence Event Center
715 Quince Street, Florence
May 28, 2017 @ 4:00 PM
Douglas County Town Hall
Drain Civic Center
205 West A Street, Drain
If you can't attend a town hall, please call Senator Wyden and Senator Merkley through the Congressional Switchboard at 202-224-2131 and tell
them how these changes would impact your life.