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09/20/2017

URGENT: Tell Your Senators to Protect Medicaid

URGENT: Tell Your Senators to Protect Medicaid

Just when everyone thought we had a breather from fighting efforts to cut and cap Medicaid, things have changed once again in the Senate. Medicaid opponents could bring another piece of health care legislation to the Senate floor before the end of September.

The proposed “Graham-Cassidy” plan would:

  • Cut and cap the traditional Medicaid program that covers long-term services and supports for seniors and people with disabilities beginning in 2020, cutting $175 billion between 2020 and 2026.

  • End Medicaid expansion beginning in 2020, and replace that funding with a block grant to all states ending in 2026, cutting $239 billion in federal support.
    • Some of the 19 non-expansion states would get additional funds during the life of the block grant.
    • The 31 Medicaid expansion states like Ohio, however, would see their funds cut substantially.

Of critical importance, the permanent change to a per capita cap formula ends the federal guarantee of paying for Medicaid’s health and long-term care costs.

  • Federal support would no longer increase to account for economic downturns, new treatments, increasing prescription drug prices, the aging of the older adult population from the “young-old” to the “old-old,” or other considerations. 

  • This would put enormous pressure on state budgets, forcing states to consider raising taxes, cutting spending on other essential programs, or reducing Medicaid enrollment. 

It is crucial that Senate Leaders not bring this bill before the Senate. Please contact your lawmakers today and ask them to oppose this ill-conceived bill.

How You Can Help

  • Call your Senators TODAY at 866-821-9427. LeadingAge has set up this toll-free number to help connect you directly to your Senators’ offices. 

  • Share this information with your residents and suggest that they call as well. The proposed changes will directly impact them.

  • Forward this action alert to your network.

Steps for Calling Your Lawmakers

  • Dial this toll-free number, 866-821-9427. You will be prompted to enter your zip code to get connected to your Senators. Feel free to use the sample script below.

  • Leave a message with the staff person who answers the phone.

  • After talking with the staff person, do not hang up. Allow the staff person to hang up, and the automated system will then connect you to your other Senator.

Sample Phone Script

“My name is _____ and I am a constituent. I oppose efforts to convert Medicaid to per capita caps or block grants, because they would destroy Medicaid as we know it. Under the “Graham-Cassidy” plan, states would eventually have to consider raising taxes, cutting spending on other programs, or reducing Medicaid enrollment—potentially leaving millions of older adults without coverage.

Many of America’s oldest and most vulnerable older adults rely on Medicaid as it exists today to pay for long-term services and supports. Please oppose “Graham-Cassidy” and other efforts to cut and cap Medicaid.  Thank you”


Questions regarding this or other bills may be directed to Nisha Hammel, Director of Advocacy at nhammel@leadingageohio.org

 


Our national partner, LeadingAge, is an association of 6,000 not-for-profit organizations dedicated to expanding the world of possibilities for aging. Together, we advance policies, promote practices and conduct research that support, enable and empower people to live fully as they age.