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Proposal to Repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) Upcoming Vote (9/21/17)

A message from the Association of Regional Centers Agencies (ARCA):

The Senate is (once again) pushing for a vote - as soon as next week - on a proposal to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (the ACA, also called "Obamacare"). If the Senate does pass this, the House of Representatives will move very quickly. Read on to learn how this would drastically change the American healthcare system, and hurt many people - especially people with developmental disabilities. Then, take three easy steps to be ready for our community's rapid response!

There are three key points for you to know:

1) Pre-existing Conditions: The ACA requires insurance companies to cover anyone, regardless of health status. In any one community, the same coverage must have the same cost. This means someone with complex medical needs, autism, asthma, or a family history of cancer pays the same as a neighbor with no immediate healthcare issues. Graham-Cassidy would let states waive these requirements, letting insurance companies charge people more money if they have a disability, a chronic illness, or any other medical need.

2) Funding Cuts Medicaid funding is extremely important for California. It was one of the states that expanded access to insurance under the ACA. Those states got extra money to help provide that access. This proposal takes that federal funding from expansion states (like California) and splits it between all the states. Compared to current funding levels, if GCHJ was signed into law, by 2026, California will have received $27.8 billion less in federal dollars. Starting in 2027, all this (reduced) money goes away for every state. For California, that means a sudden drop of ~$30 billion that year alone.

3) Long-term Funding Growth For the average person who is eligible for Medicaid, the cost of their care is covered (in part) by the federal government. Graham-Cassidy would provide a fixed amount of money per person. The amount would go up every year, but not as fast as the costs. This means that even if the cost of care for people with disabilities goes up, such as when new therapies (for instance, behavioral health treatment) are developed, there won't be more (federal) money to pay for it. Advocates would have to fight for extra funding in their state's budget to meet their needs.

What's Next?

Right now, most of the attention is on key Republican senators, such as Lisa Murkowski (AK), Susan Collins (ME), and John McCain (AZ). Currently, only one Republican has said he will vote against it - Rand Paul (TX) rejected the proposal for not repealing enough of Obamacare. If two other Republicans join him in opposing the bill, it will fail. A vote is tentatively set for next Wednesday. Both of California's (Democratic) senators will vote against it.

So what can you do?

  1. Find your representative: You need to know the name and phone number of your representative in Congress. Find your representative here.
  2. Get ready for next week: If the Senate passes this bill, we expect the House, to act quickly. We'll let you know, so you can call your Representative.
  3. Forward this message: Share this with at least three people - and sign up for ARCA's mailing list!


The American Health Care Act 

The House of  Representatives voted on May 4, 2017 to approve the American Health Care Act, it now moves to the Senate for a vote. 

Learn more about the proposed American Health Care Act and it's impact on individuals with developmental disabilities in California. 

Read the ARCA* Federal Funding Statement  (April 10, 2017)

"DC Currents" from ARCA

January, 2017: With a new President and a change in Administration, the *Association of Regional Center Agencies (ARCA) has begun to compile "DC Currents," fact sheets that outline the impact that certain changes at the Washington DC (federal) level may have on individuals and families served by the Regional Centers in California.