From ASAN (August)
As August draws to a close, the temperature is finally beginning to drop—but we’ve been turning up the heat on our advocacy work. Right now, there’s a new threat to the Affordable Care Act: the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. You spent months pushing back against Congress every time they tried to legislate away your right to health care—and every time, you won. All of those hard-won victories could be undone if Congress confirms Judge Kavanaugh’s nomination, which is why it’s so important to call your Senators and tell them to vote NO on Kavanaugh.
This week, we also issued a statement condemning the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)’s adoption of position statements that undermine the right of all disabled people to access effective communication supports. Read our statement to learn more about ASHA’s exclusion of self-advocates from the decision-making process, and why their decision is wrong for our community.
Finally, we would like to invite you to join us on November 15th for our annual gala at The Hamilton in Washington, DC. ASAN’s Gala is a celebration of self-advocacy, self-advocates, and the incredible power of our community—watch your inbox for announcements about this year’s gala speakers and honorees, and we hope to see you there!
Director of Operations
Autistic Self Advocacy Network
Pennsylvania’s Intellectual Disability and Autism system is facing a workforce crisis where over 8500 Direct Support Professional (DSP) positions turn over each year and 3500 positions are vacant.
PACC cannot find enough people to fill our own vacancies in our DSP positions!
The last day to register to vote for the November General election is October 9th. If you need help registering, let us know!
Taking Us One Step Closer to Harmful Cuts in Health Care for People with Disabilities
We’re still hearing that the Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will go to a floor vote before the 4th of July recess. We expect the bill to come out later this week, leaving less than a week to react before the bill goes to a vote on the Senate floor. Now is the time to contact your Senator’s to oppose this legislation! While the public has not seen the Senate’s version of this bill, we expect it to be similar to the House version, which would result in adverse cuts to health care programs and services that people with disabilities rely on.
With the deadline of June 30th, our state legislators have less than two weeks to pass an on-time and balanced budget. Over these next few weeks, our state legislators will be working diligently to pass a budget and we need your help to ensure that funding for intellectual and developmental disabilities remains untouched throughout the remaining weeks of the budget process. Please take a few minutes today to either call or email your State Senator and State Representative and share your support of the current funding levels for intellectual disabilities and autism services.
Trump Budget Reported to Cut Entitlements, Including $800B in Medicaid Cuts
Click here for advocacy tools and resources regarding Medicaid and the AHCA
President Trump’s FY2018 budget was officially unveiled today, confirming yesterday’s reports in The Washington Post. It seeks to overhaul many safety net and entitlement programs, including Medicaid. Sources report that the budget would cut more than $800 billion from Medicaid over ten years, and result in approximately ten billion people losing Medicaid benefits.
At the PAR Board of Directors annual strategic planning meeting last week, protecting Medicaid emerged as a top priority for PAR as the federal Medicaid program provides half of the funding for PAR members’ services (Medicaid matches state funding for ID/A providers approximately dollar for dollar). PAR members will see an increased effort by PAR regarding Medicaid in addition to new alliances to strengthen our voices and advocacy at both the state and federal level. The administration also wants to give states additional flexibility to impose work requirements for people in various anti-poverty programs, including Medicaid. Leaked documents obtained by one media outlet indicate that there will be a change in funding for the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program, though it is not yet clear what the changes will look like. It is also being reported that there will also be changes proposed to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), likely pulling back on the ability of states to extend the program and reducing the overall federal share. Some sources are estimating approximately $1.7 trillion in cuts to mandatory spending over ten years, with the goal of reaching a balanced budget by the end of that period. When the budget is released later this week, ANCOR will provide members a more detailed analysis of provisions impacting providers.
The information in italics above is from our national association ANCOR.
While the proposed American Health Care Act (AHCA) impacts the proposed budget bill, they are not the same. Both the AHCA and the proposed budget do, however, propose massive cuts to Medicaid. For more information on the AHCA, check out ANCOR’s resources and schedule a meeting with your members of Congress!
What would you say to Congress and the President?
A new amendment to the American Health Care Act is winning the support of more Members of Congress, making it more likely that a vote by the House of Representatives could happen as early as this weekend. As debates continue around dangerous changes to health care – like decimating the Medicaid program with an $880 billion cut and getting rid of coverage protections for pre-existing conditions, Washington must hear from you!
What would you say to Congress or President Trump about the role of Medicaid and access to health care in YOUR life?
Here’s how you can help spread this important message:
- Take five minutes to call your Member of Congress and ask them to #SaveMedicaid.
- Share this video with your family and friends on Facebook and Twitter.
- Send it to your Member of Congress – find yours and their contact information here.
Click here to read: The House 2012 Federal Spending Plan is Devastating to People with Disabilities
Click here to read: Governor Corbett Proposes “Reality-Based Budget”
Click here to read: “How Important is Medicaid to You?”
Click here to read: “Envisioning the Future”