Alert: Word is Out Senate will Vote on Healthcare Reform Week of June 26
NJACP’s national affiliate, ANCOR, has notified its members the Senate is likely to vote on its version of the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) next week.
Senate Republican leadership sent a bill to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) for cost projections. The Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is going from bad to worse, and will be taken up for a vote NEXT WEEK.
On Thursday, 6/22/2017, the Senate released its version of the American Health Care Act, now called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017, 142 pages of proposed legislation that built off the House passed version from May.
Our fears are now founded. Intelligence that ANCOR has gathered over the past week is now a reality. A vote is expected to occur in one week – Thursday, June 29. We have ONE WEEK to try to Save Our Services.
The Senate bill proposes extreme cuts to our programs:
- Medicaid fundamentally changes into a per capita cap program beginning Fiscal Year 2020.
- The base year calculation in the Senate version changes use of the FY16 fiscal year to an average of 8 consecutive quarters between first quarter FY14 and third quarter FY17.
- ANCOR has made the point in the Senate that several states have decade old rates so while we appreciate the effort to address, this is not helpful.
- Importantly, the Senate version DECREASES the amount to disability programs by changing the growth rate from the House version of CPI-M + 1% for blind/disabled programs to CPI-M+1% until FY2025 and then it drops off to CPI-U from thereon out.
- To understand the impact of this, check out this Urban Institute piece. In a nutshell, the CPI-M is projected to grow at about 3.7% over the next decade, CPI-U is projected to grow at 2.4% over the next decade. The Senate is creating more federal “savings” with this change.
As Senator Casey (D-PA), who joined ANCOR members today to thank them for their service, reminded us today on the 18th Anniversary of Olmstead, calls to Senate offices matter and we must call and call again!
All of your Senators regardless of party need to hear from you personally and repeatedly over the next week –either to vote “NO” on the AHCA or to bring attention to the risks it poses to the disability community.
In New Jersey Senators Menendez and Booker have been supportive of NJACP’s position, however, it is important to reach out and thank the Senators for their support while reinforcing why the bill is bad for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Call Your Senators TODAY! ANCOR’s calling tool (click here) makes it easy – all you need is your phone! After you fill out a form to identify your Senators, the tool will give you scripts for Republicans and Democrats and the phone numbers to your Senators’ DC offices. If you prefer to contact the Senator’s directly rather than using ANCOR’s calling tool, their contact information is below (please call the Washington office first, if unable to get through or you could not leave a message, call the New Jersey Offices):
Senator Bob Menendez
Washington DC Office 202-224-4744
Newark – 973-645-3030
Barrington – 856-757-5353
Senator Cory Booker
Washington, DC 202-224-3224
Camden – 856-338-8922
Newark – 973-639-8700
On the anniversary of the Olmstead decision, the Senate is proposing a bill that would decimate community services to people with disabilities. Without funding and supports, community integration as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and affirmed by the Olmstead Supreme Court decision is a broken promise.
THIS IS THE MOMENT TO TELL YOUR SENATOR TO SAY ‘NO’ TO THE AHCA. Medicaid is on the table and the changes will fundamentally and will irreversibly damage our programs if we do not weigh in and educate our U.S. Senators on what’s at risk! We’ve made it easy – click here! Please call this week, and keep calling.
Share this alert far and wide, encourage your consumers, families and colleagues to participate, and together, we can Save Our Services! Thank you for all your efforts.
Watch the 6/21/2017 U.S. Senate Hearing where ANCOR Board Member Heidi Mansir speaks out (36:20 minutes in)
Read Senator Casey’s blog addressing issues with the AHCA and the values of Olmstead:
The time to act is NOW!