Meet in Person
Meeting with your elected officials is not only a lot easier than most people think, it’s more important. Remember, your legislators work for you and need to hear your concerns about the devastating impact of cuts or caps to Medicaid on people with disabilities.
You don’t have to travel to Washington: every member of congress has offices in their local congressional district. While you may not be able to meet directly with your representative, permanent staff members are available to meet year round.
You can prepare for the meeting by practicing your personal story, reading the talking points below, and educating yourself about the impact of Medicaid cuts in your state. Relax! You don’t need to know all the answers, focus on your area of expertise, your own story.
Helpful How-To Guides:
Fact Sheet: In-Person Meetings with Elected Officials (Autistic Self Advocacy Network)
Guide to Setting Up a Meeting (FamiliesUSA)
- Congress is moving forward on tax reform legislation under the 2018 Budget Resolution, which allows legislation to be passed by the Senate with a simple majority rather than 60 votes.
- The 2018 Budget Resolution begins a process of tax reform that will disproportionately benefit wealthy individuals and large corporations and increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion. Medicaid and other programs are at risk for cuts as the federal deficit increases and as a potential “pay for” for some of these tax cuts.
- With the Senate adding provisions to repeal part of the Affordable Care Act, this tax bill has even more clearly become a healthcare bill. An estimated 13 million people would lose insurance, including people with disabilities, and premiums would rise.
- Many provisions in the tax bills hurt people with disabilities, including eliminating the medical expense deduction and tax credits for employers who hire people with disabilities.
- Increasing the deficit by $1.5 trillion will lead to automatic cuts to Medicare and put more pressure to significantly cut Medicaid.
- 10 million people with disabilities rely on Medicaid for critical services that help them live and participate in their community.
- Many people with disabilities are unaware that the services they receive are part of Medicaid. Services funded through Medicaid may be called something else in your state. If you’re a person with a disability and you receive any community-based support, it’s very likely through Medicaid.
- Eg: nursing and personal care services, specialized therapies, intensive mental health services, special education services, employment supports, and other needed services that are unavailable through private insurance.
- Cuts to Medicaid would force states to reduce services, cut optional services, restrict eligibility, and increase waiting lists.
- People with disabilities will be disproportionally harmed by Medicaid cuts. Care for people with disabilities makes up a significant part of state Medicaid budgets due to their long term care needs.
- The home and community based services (HCBS) on which people with disabilities rely to live and participate in their communities are especially at risk because they are optional and could be completely eliminated.
- Tell your member of Congress to oppose this tax bill. It hurts people with disabilities and seniors and puts the future of Medicaid at risk.
Personal stories are the most effective form of advocacy. Talk about why is Medicaid important to you.
- If you or a family member are on Medicaid (including a waiver), what are the most important services to you? What difference has that made in yours and/or your family member’s lives?
- Access to critical healthcare or therapies
- Ability to receive in-home supports, residential supports or live independently
- Ability to work or go to a day program (so your family can work)
- What was your and/or your family member’s lives like before receiving Medicaid services?
- Are you or a family member on a waitlist for Medicaid services? How would getting services make a difference in your lives?