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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Action Alert: Save Disability Rights Provisions in the Affordable Care Act!

Congress is on a fast track to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There are many, many advocates fighting to preserve the insurance provisions of the ACA – also known as Obamacare, but virtually no one is talking about the disability-specific aspects of the law. Here are four important provisions in the ACA that are critical for the disability community:

  • The ACA prohibited discrimination against people with pre-existing conditions by insurance companies.
  • The ACA extended Money Follows the Person, a Republican New Freedom initiative that is liberating thousands of disabled people from institutions, but that program is ending because of Congressional inaction.
  • The ACA established the Community First Choice Option, a Medicaid option that incentivizes states to free our people from nursing facilities and institutions.
  • The ACA authorized accessibility standards for Diagnostic Medical Equipment so people with disabilities could get access to preventative healthcare screenings and appropriate diagnostic testing.

For more information, please see NCIL’s Call to Action: Saving the Affordable Care Act and Fighting Medicaid Block Grants.

Congress is acting swiftly to repeal the ACA, but most members of Congress have no idea that these provisions were even included in the law! We cannot rely on other groups to defend our interests and issues. The disability community itself must act now!

Take Action

  1. Use this quick online action form to tell Congress to preserve these disability-specific provisions of the Affordable Care Act.
  2. Promote and share the link above to get as many other people as possible to take action on this issue!
  3. Sign on your organization to this letter urging Congress to save these disability-specific provisions in the ACA.
  4. Send your own letter to Congressional Leadership and your Senators and Representatives. Use the text from the sign-on letter to make this easy, and send us a copy at!


Whether you like him or not, President-elect Trump demonstrated the power of Twitter. U.S. policy is now being made in 140 characters or less. We must leverage our voices and our social media networks to spread the word. Although Congressional leadership doesn’t follow Twitter closely and respond, the President-elect does. If we can’t get through to Congress, we should ask @realDonaldTrump to help us make the case.

  • #ACA included Money Follows the Person- Republican initiative giving #NewFreedom to #disabled. @realDonaldTrump #ReadB4Repeal#CripTheVote
  • #ACA included Community First Choice- giving #Liberty to #disabled. @realDonaldTrump #ReadB4Repeal#CripTheVote
  • #Liberty of #Disabled shouldn’t be culture war collateral damage. @realDonaldTrump help get Congress to #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote
  • #ACA gave #Disabled women access to mammography. @realDonaldTrump help get Congress to #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote
  • #ACA stops discrimination against #disabled by insurance. @realDonaldTrump help get Congress to #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote
  • .@realDonaldTrump #ACA’s Community First Choice Option let Disabled people Stay in our homes! #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote
  • .@realDonaldTrump #ACA included the #GOP created Money Follows the Person Initiative giving Disabled ppl Freedom. #ReadB4Repeal #CripTheVote

Additional Advocacy Tools

We know it is easier when you have a toolkit to work with. We have crafted a press release you can use and we are finalizing some talking points to reference when the press calls you. We will add additional tools as this campaign continues.

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