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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
ANCOR Urges Congress to Protect HCBS as Changes Begin
National Association mobilizes members to contact representatives
Alexandria, VA – Today, the 115th Congress concluded their approval of a budget resolution that sets up the mechanism for Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act and also, through a process called reconciliation, make changes to the Medicaid program.
These changes include moving forward with proposals to transform Medicaid to a block grant or per capita cap program. Republicans, who hold the majority in both Houses of Congress, have indicated their intention to move forward quickly with this plan.
"Now is the time we must weigh in and let Congress know that individual lives depend on the Medicaid home and community-based services system," said Barbara Merrill, ANCOR CEO, "and that no changes should even be considered until stakeholders like ANCOR see what the proposed changes are."
ANCOR sent an alert this afternoon to its members – community service providers to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – and urged them to contact their senators and representatives to ensure they understood that decisions to alter the Affordable Care Act or Medicaid as a whole have direct, and at times immediate, consequences for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families who rely on home and community-based services.
"The Affordable Care Act includes the creation of innovative and effective programs, like the Community First Choice Act, which have strengthened the Medicaid program and improved the ability of states to provide quality residential and day services for individuals with I/DD," explained Esmé Grant Grewal, Senior Director of Government Relations for ANCOR.
"The Medicaid HCBS program, while not perfect, is essential to making sure that hundreds of thousands of individuals with disabilities can live in the community. Historically, when states needed help in shifting children and adults with these disabilities out of large and isolating institutions, the HCBS program was created as a federal and state program to support that need."
ANCOR urges Congress to engage stakeholders when considering changes to the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid, and offers itself as a resource to any Congressional office.
We hope this information is helpful. If you have questions or need additional information, please contact the INARF office.