~ From our friends at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law ~
Senior officials in the Trump Administration have announced that the House of Representatives will vote on Wednesday, May 3, for an amended version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). These amendments have made the bill even worse for people with disabilities and eliminates many of the protections for people with pre-existing conditions enacted as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) during the Obama Administration. We need you to take action!
Join the national Call-In Day TOMORROW, May 2, and tell Congress to protect Medicaid and healthcare for millions of Americans. Your representatives will also listen to state officials, especially governors, about issues that impact your state and your governor needs to hear from you as well.
Call your Congressional Representative: 202-224-3121
Call House Speaker Ryan: 202-225-0600
Contact your governor: https://www.usa.gov/state-governor
If the Congressional Switchboard is busy, you can also use the following numbers (shared with permission):
If you need help figuring out who your Representative is, go to www.house.gov.
What You Can Say:
As a constituent and a [person with a disability/parent of a child with a disability/supporter of people with disabilities], I oppose the passage of the American Health Care Act.
Message 1: The new amendments makes the AHCA worse!
The amendments allow states to waive protections for people with pre-existing conditions. They also would allow health insurance companies not to cover Essential Health Benefits, such as mental health and substance use disorder benefits, and to charge people with pre-existing conditions more for health insurance. These protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including people with disabilities, must be maintained.
Message 2: And the AHCA still causes 24 million people to lose health insurance!
These amendments did nothing to improve the tremendous problems that the AHCA already posed for people with disabilities.
The American Health Care Act still cuts 25% of Medicaid's budget and changes federal reimbursement rules, which would gut critically needed services for people with mental illness and other disabilities. These services include healthcare services in the community for people with serious mental illness, employment services, services that help people stay housed, and services that help students learn in school. Medicaid is the main funding source for these services.
The American Health Care Act still repeals the ACA's Medicaid expansion, which has enabled millions of adults and children with behavioral health conditions to gain health insurance, including coverage of mental health and substance use disorder services. If the expansion is repealed, those millions will lose their insurance. Combined with the cuts to Medicaid, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the AHCA will cause 14 million Americans living in poverty to lose their Medicaid coverage, including millions of people with disabilities.
Make your voice heard in Congress to protect health care!