Meet in Person

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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 per capita 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 per capita caps on Medicaid 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:

Visiting Your Members of Congress at Their Local Offices (The Leadership Conference)

Fact Sheet: In-Person Meetings with Elected Officials (Autistic Self Advocacy Network)

Talking Points

  1. 11 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, and other needed services that are unavailable through private insurance. 
  2. The Senate’s bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) would decimate Medicaid.  It proposes to cut $772 billion over the next decade and would reduce federal Medicaid spending by 35% by 2036.
  3. In response states will have no choice but to reduce services, cut optional services, restrict eligibility, and increase waiting lists.
  4. People with disabilities will be disproportionally harmed.  They make up about 14% of Medicaid participants but account for 40% the cost.
  5.  The home and community based services (HCBS) on which people with disabilities rely are especially at risk because they are optional and could be completely eliminated.
  6. A proposed new home and community based services (HCBS) 4 year demonstration does not even make up for bill’s elimination of the enhanced federal match for a different HCBS program (Community First Choice) and does nothing to address the massive impact of per capita caps. Bottom line, the second draft of the bill contains no improvements. 
  7. The proposed carve out from the caps of “blind and disabled children” will not protect them from the devastation this bill would cause to states’ Medicaid systems.  These children likely will be unable to access services as Medicaid providers go out of business, and states will have no choice but to also cut children’s services as their Medicaid budget shortfalls grow.  Most importantly, children with disabilities become adults with disabilities.
  8. There is no “acceptable” cap on Medicaid: the goal of any cap is to cut Medicaid spending.
  9. Caps don’t give states more flexibility.  They just give states less money.
  10. The caps being proposed in the BCRA have nothing to do with the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Take caps off the table and let’s have a conversation about how to improve the ACA.
  11. The Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act (ORRA) is unacceptable. It will cause 32 million people to lose their health care.
  12. Vote no to the BCRA or any bill that caps or cuts Medicaid, cuts healthcare for people with disabilities, and does not protect people with pre-existing conditions.
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Personal Story

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?
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