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

Urgent: Take Action during the Congressional Recess!

Congress is set to recess between Friday, April 7 and Sunday, April 23, and it’s more important than ever that our voices are still heard! Grassroots efforts played a key role in the American Health Care Act (AHCA) being pulled last month, but the next couple of weeks will be pivotal in the fight to stop the GOP’s efforts to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make major cuts to Medicaid. Our efforts are more important than ever now, so see below to find out how to take action now!

Background: After pulling the AHCA less than an hour before a vote was set to take place, Congress and the White House are continuing their efforts to repeal the ACA, which includes major cuts to Medicaid. While no text has been released yet, the latest proposed changes are certain to bring even more harm to the disability community, reportedly allowing states to apply for waivers on two ACA regulations: the essential health benefits, which require insurance plans to cover a minimum package of benefits; and community rating, which prevents insurers from charging higher premiums for people with pre-existing conditions. These changes would decimate the protections for people with pre-existing conditions that Congress has repeatedly promised to uphold, and this is all on top of the already terrible provisions in the AHCA (read more in our previous alert).

Take Action!

CILs: Invite Your Members of Congress to Visit Your Center

Inviting your members of Congress to visit your Center is an excellent way for them to interact and learn from their constituents with disabilities. Contact your Representatives and Senators now to invite them to visit your CIL during the upcoming recess. Make sure to coordinate with staff and consumers to ensure your members of Congress can speak directly with some of their constituents. Also, make sure these individuals can speak to how ACA repeal and Medicaid per capita caps / block grants will impact their access to healthcare, their ability to work or live independently, and their freedom to live in their community.

People with disabilities have the most to lose from ACA repeal and Medicaid cuts. Planning a visit is an opportunity to teach members of Congress how vital the ACA and Medicaid are to their own constituents with disabilities, and how harmful the proposed changes will be. Planning a visit is also a great opportunity for members of Congress to develop a better understanding of the vital work CILs do in their communities, because as we know, appropriations discussions are just around the corner!

Make an Appointment

Now is the time to get some more face-to-face time with your Representatives and Senators. Set up a meeting while your members are home so you can voice your concerns! We need members of Congress to continue hearing directly from their constituents how the AHCA and the newly proposed changes will hurt us.

Attend a Town Hall or Other Public Event

Check out whether your Senators or Representatives have any town halls scheduled at, and find out about other constituent activity at Attend local events and encourage other people with disabilities to do the same!

And of course, keep calling, Tweeting, writing letters, protesting, and taking all opportunities to educate your Senators and Representatives!

Speak Your Mind