Talking Points

Update: May 15, 2020

Today, the House passed a new relief package, the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act (H.R. 6800). The bill addresses many of the disability community’s most urgent priorities, including additional funding for home and community based services, Medicaid, and housing programs and hazard pay for direct service providers. It has now been sent to the Senate, though when the Senate will take it up remains unclear.

For more on what priorities are and are not included in the HEROES Act, check out our summary here. A section-by-section summary of the bill is also available here. The House Appropriations Committee has also made available a one page summary of bill and a one page summary of state and local fiscal relief provisions.

We will continue to update our COVID-19 pages as we review the bill, so be sure to visit our COVID-19 overview, advocacy, and legislation pages for the latest information.

  1. 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.
  2. Cuts to Medicaid would force states to reduce services, cut optional services, restrict eligibility, and increase waiting lists.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Tell your member of Congress to oppose any cuts to Medicaid, Medicare or other programs.