Senate health care bill is “Medicaid elimination bill”

Senator Ron Wyden speaking at a rally in Portland. He's wearing a red cap and holding a microphone. There is a "Stop Repeal" placard in the foreground of the photo .

Senator Ron Wyden speaking at the rally.

I attended a rally in NE Portland today to stop the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and dismantling of Medicaid.

The mission of Disability Rights Oregon is to “promote and defend the rights of individuals with disabilities.”

What Congress is now proposing is the greatest threat to our mission that we have seen in decades.

This is because many individuals with disabilities need not only health care, but also assistive technology and community supports in order to get an education, a job, and a place to live.

The alternative is a life of unfulfilled promise, isolation, and dependency.

Without Medicaid, the right to live in the community will no long be achievable for many.

Senator Merkley is holding a microphone speaking to a crowd holding up signs. One of the red and white signs reads "Stop Repeal"

Senator Jeff Merkley speaking at the rally.

Proposed changes to the ACA that will make it harder for people with disabilities to find private insurance, especially insurance that covers needed services.

But Congress not only wants to end the ACA, it is also trying to provide tax breaks for the wealthy by slashing the federal cost of Medicaid.

What is advertised by its supporters as an ACA “repeal and replace” bill, is more accurately described as a Medicaid elimination bill.

Both the Senate and House bills cut the federal match rate for the working poor, shrink federal money for all of Medicaid over time, and limit how much states can raise in provider taxes to cover Medicaid costs.

Representative Suzanne Bonamic speaking to the crowd. She's holding a microphone and wearing a blue top. There are two doctors in white coats standing behind her. The crowd is holding up signs.

Representative Suzanne Bonamici speaking at the rally.

It is clear that the bill will result in decreased access to:

  • home and community based supports
  • preventive care
  • maintenance of chronic conditions
  • assistive technology
  • habilitation
  • behavioral health services
  • residential services
  • special education services
  • and freedom from harm and dependency.

And it will do nothing to lower health care costs for those who can afford them.

That is why I attended the rally today.  The rights of individuals with disabilities are being threatened.

Disability Rights Oregon must speak out along with other Americans to do what we can to stop that threat.

Join us in getting the word out by contacting elected officials, your social media friends and other concerned people.

 

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