Call to Action: Congress to vote on ACHA

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This content has been reprinted with permission from the Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA). 

Congress is (once again) pushing for a vote on the American Health Care Act. This is the Republican proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (the ACA, also called “Obamacare”). It would drastically change the American healthcare system, and would hurt many people – especially people with developmental disabilities. Read on to learn what it does and how those proposals hurt us. Then, take action!

Now is the time to act! Call your member of Congress TODAY and tell them to vote NO on the American Health Care Act!

(1) Click here and find your member of Congress.
(2) Call their office and say “I am a constituent, and I am opposed to the American Health Care Act.” Share how the proposals will hurt you or your loved ones.
(3) If you prefer, the State Council on Developmental Disabilities has a way you can share your story online!


What does the American Health Care Act (AHCA) do?

Medicaid Expansion (contraction): Obamacare let states give insurance to more people by expanding Medicaid (California calls it Medi-Cal) for people earning up to 138% of the federal poverty level. For a family of four, that’s an annual income of roughly $34,000. To help fund this, the government repays states 90 cents for every dollar spent on that community. Starting in 2020, the AHCA would not let anyone join that group to get Medicaid, even if they had it before. Many people would permanently lose their Medicaid, because people often have a gap in coverage each year.

Medicaid Per Capita Grants: States get Medicaid money based on how much they spend. When people’s needs are more expensive, California gets more money to help pay for their services (see page 7 in this chart).

The AHCA will set funding at how much a state now spends for each person, only increasing it by the “medical inflation rate.” Health care costs, particularly for our community, can grow a lot faster than that rate. So when costs go up, California will have to make up the difference (see page 12 in this chart).

Essential Health Benefits: Health insurance plans have to cover certain services, like behavioral health and habilitative care. These services help people develop, maintain, and improve skills.

The AHCA will let states opt out of these minimum requirements. If someone buys a plan with less coverage, and later has a child with a developmental disability, they will have to pay more to get the services they need.

Pre-Existing Conditions: Anyone in a community can buy the same health insurance as someone else, for the same price – even if they have a preexisting condition (including disability). The AHCA will let states opt out of the pre-existing condition requirement, meaning that people with developmental disabilities (or their parents) might have to pay tens of thousands of dollars for insurance.

You can make a difference! Call your member of Congress THIS WEEK and tell them to vote NO on the American Health Care Act!

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Community Engagement

Inland Regional Center's Community Engagement Unit can be reached at [email protected]

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