Right now, Congress and the President are debating how to cut federal spending to bring down the deficit. Unfortunately – and almost unbelievably – people with intellectual and developmental disabilities are prime among those who may bear the brunt of many of the proposed funding cuts and policy changes.
There are many proposals being discussed in Washington to balance the budget. What they have in common is that Medicaid spending would need to be dramatically cut in a short period of time. They include:
- Block Granting Medicaid: This policy, which was passed in the House’s 2012 Budget Resolution, would give states a fixed amount of money for health care and long term services and would likely remove requirements for how the states spend the money. Funding and services could evaporate, as financially strapped states took aim at programs without powerful constituencies and tightened eligibility for other programs.
- Spending Caps: These would set an overall limit on federal spending that is well below current levels and would likely result in a Medicaid block grant (see above). Both houses of Congress may vote this week on a measure that could ultimately force such drastic cuts to occur.
Cuts to Medicaid are on the table in all of these proposals, directly or indirectly, and that alone requires us to act! Time is short.
What would these cuts mean for people with disabilities? There would be no guarantee of services. People with disabilities could be denied:
- Health insurance coverage
- Home and community based services
What can we do?
We expect Congress to vote on legislation to cut the deficit before the end of July, and we don’t know yet what that will mean for Medicaid. Now is the time to tell your Senators and Representative what Medicaid means to you and your loved ones and friends with I/DD, and tell them “Don’t Cut Our Lifeline!”
Please call your Senators and Representatives as soon as possible. Enter your zip code to get their phone numbers.
What should I say?
- The budget cannot be balanced on the backs of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Deep cuts in Medicaid cannot be tolerated – including block grants and spending caps that impact Medicaid.
- Medicaid and programs that serve low-income people must be exempt from deficit reduction plans.
- Share your story! There is nothing more powerful than sharing your personal experience, so please tell your elected official about your support service needs.
- Don’t Cut Our Lifeline!