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)
- 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, its 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.
- 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.
- People with disabilities will be disproportionally harmed by Medicaid cuts. Services and supports for people with disabilities makes up a significant part of state Medicaid budgets due to their long term care needs.
- Tell your member of Congress to oppose any cuts to Medicaid, Medicare or other programs.
You can help protect Medicaid by telling your Members of Congress to:
- SUPPORT the EMPOWER Care Act to fund the Money Follows the Person program (House & Senate).
- SUPPORT the bills on Electronic Visit Verification that delays implementation requirements for personal care services for a year (House & Senate).
- OPPOSE the bills that would prioritize institutional care in Institutions for Mental Illness (IMDs) over community based care (House &Senate).
- OPPOSE any spending cuts in the federal budget that would hurt people with disabilities and the Medicaid program (House & Senate).
Call your Members of Congress:
- Call the Capitol Switchboard at: (202) 224-3121(voice) or (202) 224-3091(tty) and ask to be connected to your senators or representatives.
- You can use this easy tool to find your members of Congress.
Educate yourself so you can be prepared to comment on forthcoming rules that could prevent individuals with disabilities and their families from legally entering the country.
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 members 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 members 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?