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

Information Alert: The FY 2018 Federal Budget

Congress has finished a budget resolution and it sets the stage for tax cuts, an increased deficit, and includes dangerous cuts to Medicaid, Medicare, and other programs critical to our independence.

NCIL logo - National Council on Independent LivingThe House plans to introduce a tax reform (cuts) bill this week as well and to send it to the Senate by Thanksgiving. Tax cuts don’t pay for themselves. The budget resolution will increase the federal deficit by $1.5 trillion, and it assumes over $5 trillion in cuts to services over the next decade. With numbers like these, no programs are safe. Congress has shown us time and again that they are intent on slashing Medicaid, and unsurprisingly, their tax plan will provide them with the opportunity to do just that. The Senate budget calls for trillions of dollars in cuts to mandatory programs (which includes programs like Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security). Much of the remainder will come from non-defense discretionary funding, which includes other programs we rely on like the Independent Living Program, housing assistance, and education. If this tax plan becomes law, people with disabilities, poor people, and other marginalized communities will be significantly harmed, while wealthy people and corporations reap the benefits.

We must be prepared to react – and to react quickly! Start preparing NOW. Gather stories demonstrating the value of CIL services. Gather data on the value of CIL services – the number of people diverted and transitioned from institutionalization – and the savings to your state because of these critical programs.

Invite Senators and Congressional Representatives to visit your CIL to see what you do. 

Develop fact sheets that show the:

  • Number of people with disabilities in your service area
  • Increases and decreases to your federal grant over time
  • Increases and decreases in your capacity to meet the needs in your service area

Plan events and Invite Senators and Congressional Representatives to meet real people and hear their stories.

Gear up advocacy efforts to:

  • Share the value of what CILs do
  • Share the cost savings of helping folks stay in the community rather than being institutionalized
  • Share personal stories that demonstrate successes
  • AND share personal stories that demonstrate the negative impact of reduced funding and services

We will continue to monitor these efforts as they progress. We’ll continue to follow progress on the tax bill as well as appropriations, and we will keep you informed of any new developments. One thing is for sure: a plan that will result in trillions of dollars in cuts to the programs we rely on is not good for our country.

Watch for NCIL Action Alerts and react QUICKLY. The disability community has demonstrated that we are powerful, and together, we will work to stop this.

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