ARC/UCP Action Alert: Act Now to Save Medi-Cal

23 Feb

Changes planned and proposed by the new government could significantly reduce the support for people with disabilities.

The time to act is now. Below is an email sent out by The Arc & United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration. It is California focused but–you can do this from whatever state you are in. Call your Senators. Call your member of Congress. Let them know: they should vote NO on ALL medicaid cuts.

Act Now to Save Medi-Cal

Dear Developmental Disability Community Friends,

Adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities overwhelmingly rely on Medicaid (called Medi-Cal in California) for their health coverage.

But that coverage is under serious, major attack in Congress. There are those who want to roll back the 2010 expansion of Medicaid coverage, which was part of the Affordable Care Act, and even cut back coverage that our community had before that.

One plan would give states fixed amounts of money (called ”block grants”) for Medicaid, meaning the state would have to try to find other money to cover the shortfall when the needs exceed the block grants. I think you know what a tough fight it is to get California’s legislature and governor to fund our community’s needs. If the federal block grant falls short and the state doesn’t fill the gap, it would mean people would go without health care.

Another plan would give states a fixed amount per patient, no matter how much care the patient needs. This is called “per-capita allocation.” Again, if the fixed amount falls short and the state doesn’t come up with the money to cover it, it would mean people would go without health care.

There are also plans to impose co-pays and deductibles and Medicaid patients, some of the poorest people in the country. And you can be sure that more bad ideas will surface before we’re done with this fight.

There are lots of people complaining about a lot of things to their U.S. senators and congressional representatives right now. We need to make sure our community’s voice isn’t drowned out.

Here are two things you can do right now:

1. Call Senator Dianne Feinstein, Senator Kamala Harris, and your own congressional representative. Click here to find their numbers and get some suggestions on what to say to them.

2. If your representative is having any public events, get some friends and go to them — and be prepared to talk. Again, identify yourself as part of the developmental disability community. If they are planning to vote NO on ALL Medicaid cuts, thank them. Sometimes we don’t thank our supporters enough. If not, ask them pointedly why not. Sometimes we don’t criticize our non-supporters enough, either.

As someone who worked for state legislators for a long time and got those calls and attended those public events, I can tell you that they sure do get a politician’s attention, alright.

I hesitate to direct you to this link because it’s highly partisan, and our community spans the whole political spectrum. But the tactics it suggests can work no matter where on that spectrum you are. In fact, it’s written by a bunch of Democrats who are copying the Tea Party. Please don’t think we support or oppose this group’s political agenda, because we don’t. But if you are moved to do more than the two steps I’m asking you take now, reading this is a good place to start.

Thank you for your advocacy.

Greg

P.S. One more thing. Please forward this Action Alert to everyone you know in our community. Now’s the time for all of us to get riled up.

Greg deGiere
Public Policy Director
The Arc & United Cerebral Palsy California Collaboration
1225 Eighth Street, Suite 350, Sacramento, CA 95814
916-52-6619

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