As part of its mission, the United States Brain Injury Alliance (USBIA) encourages federal and state legislation and policy that supports the expressed needs of individuals with brain injury and their families.
To accomplish this, the USBIA actively collaborates with USBIA members annually to identify priority federal and state legislative and policy issues. They also work independently to introduce and support key federal legislation and important issues that will positively impact the brain injury field. Updates on USBIA current legislative activities will be posted below. For more information about USBIA, please visit their website.
MARCH 2017- FEDERAL LEGISLATION WATCH
USBIA Supports the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Make a Call to Prevent Gutting of the ACA and Medicaid
The House of Representatives in Washington DC is expected to introduce a bill to cut Medicaid and gut the ACA (Affordable Care Act). Work is expected to begin immediately to move this legislation quickly to the President’s desk. If these bills pass, it would have an extremely negative impact on survivors of brain injury who are disabled. We simply cannot allow this to happen on our watch. We need you to reach out to your Federal elected officials and tell them that repealing the ACA and cuts to Medicaid are unacceptable. People's health, services, and lives are at stake! We need advocates to reach out to their Senators and Representatives to let them know why the ACA and Medicaid are essential to people with disabilities and their families.
Please call and relay the following two messages:
Message #1: Do NOT per capita cap Medicaid!
Medicaid is a jointly funded program with matching state and federal funds. Under a Medicaid per capita cap, the federal government would set a limit on how much to reimburse states based on enrollment. Unlike current law, funding would not be based on the actual cost of providing services. Much like the proposed block grants, the intent of the per capita caps is to restructure the program, cut federal spending and drastically reduce money going to the states. Inevitably there will be cuts in funding and other negative impacts to Medicaid recipients could include:
• Losing home and community-based services and supports. Waiting lists would quickly grow.
• Losing other critical services such as personal care, mental health, prescription drugs, and rehabilitative services. If funds become scarcer, states may decide to stop providing these services altogether.
• Being forced into unnecessary institutionalization. States could return to the days of "warehousing" people with disabilities in institutions.
• Shifting the costs to individuals or family members to make up for the federal cuts. The costs of providing health care and long term services and supports will not go away, but will be shifted to individuals, parents, states, and providers.
Message #2: Do not repeal the ACA's protections for people with disabilities!
For those with disabilities, the ACA is the most crucial piece of legislation since the Americans with Disabilities Act:
• Because of the ACA, health insurers can't deny health insurance if you have a disability or chronic condition.
• Because of the ACA, there aren't arbitrary financial limits to how much health care you can get in a year or in your lifetime.
• Because of the ACA, more people with disabilities receive supports and live in the community, not institutions.
For additional information, see CCD's fact sheet about the ACA.
Take Action! Fight for Disability Rights!
Call your Senators and Representatives today at 202-224-3121. Now is the time for action. Remember: every call matters! Don't let them take away health care and services for millions of people and replace it with a plan that cuts Medicaid. Find your U.S. Senator here and your U.S. House Representative here.
What to Say During Your Call:
• I live in your district.
• I am a person with a disability/I am a family member/ caregiver of someone with a disability/I am a professional in the disability field.
• Please do not repeal the ACA (Affordable Care Act) without a replacement that maintains or improves coverage and protections.
• Do not allow restructuring and cuts to Medicaid to be part of an ACA replacement.
• Because of the ACA and Medicaid, I /my family member to have access to health care and community based services.
Please share this information with your friends and family members. Ask them to take action to improve the lives of millions of Americans living with brain injury and disability.