After months of draft proposals, Congressional Republican leaders have made their move on repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA). They introduced the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which would radically restructure Medicaid and make major changes to key ACA provisions.
Congress will consider the bill under a process called budget reconciliation, which allows certain tax and spending legislation to move through the lawmaking process more quickly, with only 52 votes in the Senate. This is important to Republicans because they hold majorities in both the House and Senate. The AHCA is highly partisan, with no support from Democrats.
The bill has already cleared key House committees: Energy and Commerce, and Ways and Means. The AHCA has also received a score from the Congressional Budget Office. CBO estimates that the bill will leave 24 million Americans without healthcare coverage by 2026, but save $337B in that same time frame. One thing is certain: if the legislation is enacted as proposed, it will gut federal Medicaid funding and shift major administrative and cost burdens to the states and to individuals. Many cannot not afford to absorb these increases. The drastic funding cuts ($880B over 10 years) would eliminate adequate support for agencies that serve people with disabilities.
APSE members must act now. APSE is very concerned about the proposed massive cuts to Medicaid, the program that enables Americans with disabilities to work and live in their communities through long-term services and supports. Please contact your members of Congress and ask them to vote “NO” on the AHCA.
AHCA dramatically cuts funding for programs vital to the people APSE serves
The bill contains several provisions that APSE is very concerned about, including massive cuts to Medicaid, the program that enables Americans to work and live in their communities thorough long-term services and supports.
Medicaid means employment and empowerment
Medicaid helps make it possible for people to live productive lives. A full 42% of Medicaid funding pays for services and supports for individuals with disabilities. Medicaid is also the primary funder of employment services and supports for these individuals.
Moving forward, our mission in the Medicaid reform discussion is clear. There is no other private or public system that provides the types of services and supports that Medicaid does. Slashing Medicaid presents a clear threat to Home-and Community-Based Services (HCBS) for Americans with disabilities, the providers who serve them, and the families who support them.