On July 17th, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced that the Senate would not be voting on the Better Care Reconciliation Act. Then, on July 18th he announced an upcoming vote on a repeal of the Affordable Care Act without an immediate replacement. Media reports on July 18th indicate that this approach does not have sufficient support to pass in the Senate.
Make no mistake - the Medicaid program and the home and community based supports that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities rely on to live independent lives were on the brink of destruction because of the cuts and caps that were in the Senate and House bills. The margin of support versus opposition is very close and we expect the Senate Majority leadership will continue to try to find enough votes to pass a bill. The timing and strategy are fluid and the timeline is further complicated by the absence of Senator John McCain (R-AZ) who is recovering from surgery.
This is not over - we must remain vigilant in our advocacy efforts. This year, both Congress and the Administration have proposed over a trillion dollars in cuts to Medicaid. Congress is already taking steps to double down on slashing the Medicaid program - also on July 18th, the House unveiled its budget resolution that includes changes to Medicaid, Social Security, and Medicare. Clearly, the threats remain.
As the disability community battled against this effort over the last several months, we have shown our strength, our power, and The Arc thanks each and every advocate who has stepped up in this fight.
This is the civil rights fight of our time, and we will remain vigilant to protect all that has been built to ensure the inclusion and equality of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our society. Stay tuned in with The Arc, and encourage others to Join Our Fight.
Thank you for your ongoing advocacy!