Action Alert – Understanding the Impact of the Graham-Cassidy plan

September 21, 2017

Sharing this important update from our colleagues at the Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
Capitol Hill Update – 9/19/2017

We are facing another attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act and end Medicaid as we know it. The current proposal, the Graham-Cassidy plan, is gaining momentum and could go to a vote at any time before September 30.
What the Graham-Cassidy plan does: Like prior bills, this proposal would devastate Medicaid by adding per capita caps, but it also contains some of the worst threats to coverage for people with pre-existing conditions, including mental disabilities, yet this year. This proposal block grants both the Medicaid Expansion and all of the tax credit and subsidies that help low-income individuals and families buy insurance, then completely eliminates Federal support for those programs after 2026. The proposal also permits waivers of pre-existing condition protections, allowing insurance companies to charge people with mental disabilities or other pre-existing conditions more.
What you can do: The special Senate procedure that Republican leaders have been using to try and pass all of these bills (called budget reconciliation) expires on September 30. This means that if they cannot get to a vote in the next week and a half, they cannot pass this proposal or any other repeal bill. Once again, we are asking you help save Medicaid!
If you live in a state with a Republican Senator or Governor or in a district with a Republican House Member, please call your representatives every day until September 30 and ask him/her/them to oppose the Graham-Cassidy plan.

I’m a resident of [TOWN, STATE] and my zipcode is [ZIPCODE]. As a constituent and a [person with a disability/parent or family member of a person with a disability/supporter of people with disabilities], I am asking Senator/Governor/Representative [NAME] to oppose the Graham-Cassidy plan and to publicly say they oppose the proposal. It eliminates the Medicaid expansion and limits and caps Medicaid, resulting in massive cuts. These cuts will place services for [me/my family member/my friends] at serious risk. Limits on Medicaid would be devastating to the health, independence, and lives of individuals with disabilities and their families, especially in [STATE]. The Senate has started a bipartisan process to repair the Affordable Act Act and I ask that Senator/Governor/Representative [NAME] supports that bipartisan process.

You can call the Congressional Switchboard to contact your members of Congress at (202) 224-3121 and find your Governor’s contact information here:
Talking Points:
  • The Medicaid expansion, which has enabled millions of people with behavioral health conditions and other disabilities to gain health insurance, is fundamental to ensuring that people have access to coverage for mental health and substance use disorder services. If the expansion is repealed, those millions will lose their insurance and their services.
  • Medicaid is the backbone of our health care system. It provides critically needed services for people disabilities, including health care services, employment services, services that help people stay housed, and services that help students learn in school. Medicaid should not be capped or cut!
  • The Affordable Care Act provided incredibly important protections for people with disabilities and pre-existing conditions. We cannot go backwards on this progress!
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