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May 17 Action Alert: Improve the HHS Spending and Policy Bill

IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
Contact legislative leaders now to have an impact on health and human services funding and policy before the Legislature adjourns.

We are appreciative of Governor Dayton's recent veto of SF 800, a bill that would have reduced funding for disability services by millions of dollars and would have caused significant challenges to Minnesotans living with disabilities. This detrimental bill was passed by the legislature, despite a projected budget surplus of more than $1.6 million.

House and Senate leaders and the governor now are negotiating on a new bill, which must be completed before the legislature officially adjourns Monday, May 22. Given that tight timeline, there could be agreement among state officials at any time on a new bill, and the Health and Human Services Conference Committees could have little time to debate and pass that bill.

Your advocacy can help restore some of the budget cuts that were in the vetoed bill, along with several important benefits that include: new employment services, a 25 percent reduction in TEFRA parental fees, an expansion of consumer-directed community supports, and increased housing.

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May 4 Action Alert: Health and Human Services Funding Cuts

advocacylogowebIMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
The Minnesota legislature is a proposing a $505 million reduction to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHS) budget for the coming year. A reduction in funding would be devastating to programs for people with disabilities and seniors. However, the final budget has not yet been finalized, and there is time to prevent these reductions.

Organizations including AuSM are on record opposing these cuts, and we have worked diligently to let legislators know how they will hurt the most vulnerable people in our state. But to really make an impact, the legislators need to hear from YOU.

If you oppose these drastic cuts, here are some things you can do:

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March 23 Action Alert: Health and Human Services funding cuts

advocacylogowebThe Minnesota legislature has proposed significant cuts to funding in Health and Human Services. The Senate plans to cut $335 million and the House plans to cut $559 million. These cuts will have negative effects on access to services for people with disabilities. If this concerns you or a loved one, contact both your legislators and the legislative leaders at the Capitol. Let them know how their proposed spending cuts will impact you and other people with disabilities.

WHO TO CONTACT
Click here to find your legislators.

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March 14 Action Alert: No to Medicaid Caps and Cuts

advocacylogowebMarch 14, 2017: IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
U.S. Congress slated to introduce significant cuts to Medicaid that will affect individuals with disabilities. If you oppose Medicaid cuts, contact your legislators.

WHAT
Congress is on a fast track to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) impacting people with disabilities and to make drastic cuts to the Medicaid program. The level of cuts over time would decimate the Medicaid program.

The House of Representatives is moving quickly to push for a vote by the end of March. The Senate is planning to vote on the House bill before the mid-April recess.

People’s health, services, and lives are at stake. We urgently need advocates to reach out to their Senators and Representatives and tell them to keep ACA provisions impacting people with disabilities and to protect Medicaid. Advocates need to explain why the ACA and Medicaid are essential to people with disabilities and their families.

Message: Do not cut and cap Medicaid.

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Feb. 24 Action Alert: Medicaid/Medical Assistance cuts

advocacylogowebFeb. 24, 2017: IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
U.S. Congress slated to introduce significant cuts to Medicaid that will affect individuals with disabilities. If you oppose Medicaid cuts, contact your legislators.

WHAT
At the beginning of next week (Feb. 27-Mar. 3), the United States House of Representatives is anticipated to introduce a plan to drastically reduce Medicaid funding to states as part of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare).

In Minnesota, Medicaid is known as Medical Assistance (MA), and is a critical mechanism that ensures healthcare coverage and services for people with disabilities of all ages, the elderly, children, and low-income adults.

Currently, federal Medicaid funding provides an open-ended commitment to help states cover Medicaid costs for all eligible individuals. However, congressional leaders have stated that they are looking at capping individual reimbursements to a fixed amount per person, or offer block grants to states that could potentially not cover the necessary expenses. Either approach would result in a devastating cut in Medicaid spending at the federal level, which would force Minnesota to cover the costs of insuring the most vulnerable individuals from the state budget. Without an increase in state taxes to cover these costs, the likely result is more limited access to needed services and longer waiting lists.

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