Medicaid Cuts = Disability Cuts | The Toolkit

This post was updated on July 13, 2017

Join TASH in our effort to #SaveMedicaid! Earlier this morning, the United States Senate Republicans unveiled a revised health care bill. The revised bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act, still puts more than 15 million people with disabilities at risk. It’s critical, now more than ever, that you contact your Senator! We encourage you to use our Medicaid Cuts = Disability Cuts toolkit to contact your Senator and tell them to vote no to the BCRA and to help #SaveMedicaid.

View the full Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017. Learn more by viewing summaries of Titles I, II, and III.

Sample Language

  1. Current Medicaid funding for school-based services is $3 billion dollars. The proposed budget would cut this amount by $600 million dollars. Learn how each state would be affected.
  2. Nearly two-thirds of Medicaid spending is for the elderly and people with disabilities. This means that two-thirds of the people who are affected by the proposed $1.4 trillion dollar Medicaid cuts will be the elderly and people with disabilities.
  3. Medicaid is the main way that states pay for long term care services (like community based programs as well as nursing homes and institutions) for the elderly and people with disabilities.
  4. Medicaid is the main way that people with disabilities receive employment services and supports.
  5. The number of people with disabilities in each state who will be affected by the cuts is listed here.
Find your Senator's email address here.

Dear [YOUR SENATOR],

As a [INSERT YOUR PROFESSION/ORGANIZATIONAL AFFILIATION], I would like to express my concerns that the American Health Care Act (AHCA), as passed by the House of Representatives on May 4th, will jeopardize health care for people with disabilities.

[Insert some general talking points and/or explain how this affects the life of your loved one/the people you support]

The repealing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the proposed cuts would dismantle the Medicaid program. Cutting Medicaid is not a way to reduce costs or balance the budget in the near or long term future. It would harm the lives of people with disabilities, their families, and our nation’s future.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME]

Brief Tips

1. The following adaptable templates are around 300 words. Check the word length requirements for Letters to the Editors in your news outlet and be sure to submit the proper format and length for your chosen purpose.

2. Letters to the editor are typically around 200-250 words and are written in response something already published in the paper. You should reference the article to which you are responding either in your submission email or in the body of the letter itself.

3. Op-Eds are original thought pieces that do not respond to something already published in the paper. Op-Eds are typically 600-800 words, depending on the outlet.

Medicaid Funded Supports in Schools

Dear Editor:

As a [TEACHER/SCHOOL NURSE/PSYCHOLOGIST/SOCIAL WORKER/ADMINISTRATOR/PHYSICAL THERAPIST/OCCUPATIONAL THERAPIST/SPEECH PATHOLOGIST, ETC.] in [CITY/TOWN], I am worried about what the American Health Care Act will mean for my students.

Many students in the school/district I serve rely on Medicaid for supports that make their participation in the classroom possible. These services include medical and mental health care needs. For children with disabilities and low income students, Medicaid helps provide access to care the supports essential to their learning and engagement. Medicaid plays a vital role in their lives and in my ability to help them succeed. A healthy child is ready and able to learn.

The repealing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the proposed cuts would dismantle the Medicaid program. These deep cuts— more than $800 billion—would put [STATE’s] children’s health and educational success at risk, and reduce important investments in our schools. Medicaid works for my students and their families, ensuring them access to preventive and developmental screening services to support their educational success.

Cutting Medicaid is not a way to reduce costs or balance the budget in the near or long term future. It would harm our children and our nation’s future. We need our representatives to preserve Medicaid so that we can protect our children’s healthcare in [STATE].

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME]

Medicaid From A Parent’s Perspective

Dear Editor:

As a [PARENT/SIBLING/OTHER FAMILY MEMBER] in [CITY/TOWN], I am worried about what the American Health Care Act (AHCA) will mean for my [CHILD/LOVED ONE].

My family member relies on Medicaid for supports that make their participation in the classroom possible. These services include medical and mental health care needs. For children with disabilities and low income students, Medicaid helps provide access to care the supports essential to their learning and engagement. Medicaid plays a vital role in their lives and in my ability to help them succeed. A healthy child is ready and able to learn.

The repealing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the proposed cuts would dismantle the Medicaid program. These deep cuts— more than $800 billion—would put [STATE’s] children’s health and educational success at risk, and reduce important investments in our schools. Medicaid works for my [CHILD/LOVED ONE], ensuring them access to preventive and developmental screening services to support their educational success.

Cutting Medicaid is not a way to reduce costs or balance the budget in the near or long term future. It would harm our children and our nation’s future. We need our representatives to preserve Medicaid so that we can protect our children’s healthcare in [STATE].

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME]

Medicaid Funded Supports for Adults

Dear Editor:

As a [FRIEND/FAMILY MEMBER/DIRECT SUPPORT PROVIDER/COMMUNITY MEMBER] in [CITY/TOWN], I am writing to express my concerns about the American Health Care Act (AHCA) and Medicaid cuts and caps. If this happens, people with disabilities will be hurt the worst.  Medicaid helps [MY FRIENDS/LOVED ONES/THE PEOPLE I SUPPORT] and others with the supports they need to go to work, get up in the morning, and be a part of the community. If the cuts go through, [MY FRIENDS/LOVED ONES/THE PEOPLE I SUPPORT] will not get the services they need. Some of them will have to go to a nursing home (or even worse, an institution) because they will not have supports.

People with disabilities want to be a part of the community, work, and pay taxes — just like everyone else. President Trump said America is for everyone! I want to remind him that people with disabilities live in America, and must be included.  

The repealing of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the proposed cuts would dismantle the Medicaid program. It would harm the lives of people with disabilities; those who depend on Medicaid every day.

Sincerely,
[YOUR NAME]

Find your Senator's local office address here.

Brief Tips

  1. Wear your TASH t-shirt with nice pants or business casual clothing
  2. Introduce yourself, including your role (person with a disability, family member, friend, teacher, etc.)
  3. Tell Senator/staffer how Medicaid helps you/people you care about
  4. Tell Senator/staff what you want him/her to do — vote no on AHCA
  5. Get business card of Senator/staffer & follow up with a thank-you — this can be done by email or via social media
  6. Share your own business card/contact information
Find your Senator's social media accounts here.

  1. #Medicaid cuts = disability cuts. Check out @TASHtweet’s toolkit to see how you can take action #SaveMedicaid www.tash.org/savemedicaid
  2. The repealing of the #ACA would dismantle the #Medicaid program #SaveMedicaid #ProtectOurCare www.tash.org/savemedicaid
  3. Cutting more than $800 billion would put children’s health and educational success at risk #SaveMedicaid www.tash.org/savemedicaid
  4. Current #Medicaid funding 4 school-based services is $3 billion dollars. The proposed budget would cut this amount by $600 million dollars
  5. #Medicaid is the main way that people with disabilities receive employment services and supports #SaveMedicaid www.tash.org/savemedicaid
  6. Medicaid is the main way that states pay 4 long term care services 4 the elderly & ppl w/ disabilities #SaveMedicaid www.tash.org/savemedicaid
US Capitol Switchboard
Dialing (202) 224-3121 will allow you to be connected with the Senator you request — unfortunately, there is no toll-free number.
Don't forget to contact your governor too. If the BCRA is passed, governors will ultimately be the ones to make Medicaid-related decisions. This list contains addresses as well as phone numbers.
TASH's Executive Director, Ruthie-Marie Beckwith writes an Opinion Editorial (OpEd) for the Washington Post describing how the changes to the ACA affect her beloved Thomas. Read full OpEd.

TASH Board Member, Jenny Lengyel writes an Opinion Editorial (OpEd) for the Seattle Times describing how Medicaid cuts would affect the lives of her 5-year old daughter, Cassie. Read full OpEd.

TASH's Tia Nelis describes how Medicaid cuts would affect the lives of people with disabilities in the workplace and at home. View video.

TASH's Raquel Rosa writes Letter to the Editor about how Medicaid cuts would affect the lives of her brother, other people with significant disabilities, and the people who provide direct supports to them. View full letter.

TASH's former Board President, David Westling, writes letter to North Carolina newspapers about his friend David Maennle potentially losing his home and job with Medicaid cuts. View full letter.

Frances Isbell, 24, who has spinal muscular atrophy, is finishing law school at the University of Alabama. A personal care assistant she gets through Medicaid made her education possible. View article.

Resources

  1. Medicaid in Schools Toolkit
  2. Not One State Supports the Republican Health Bill
  3. The Impact of Medicaid Cuts on People with Disabilities: State by State
  4. Kaiser Foundation Medicaid in the States Fact Sheets:
  5. Congress is Trying to Cut Medicaid: Impacts on People with Disabilities
  6. How Per Capita Caps in Medicaid Would Hurt States
  7. List of Republican Senators that Need to Vote No
  8. Medicaid Helps Schools Help Children (Center on Budget and Policy Priorities)
  9. Consensus Statement from the National Association of Medicaid Directors Board of Directors on the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017
  10. State Variation in Medicaid Acute and Long-Term Care Spending Per Enrollee