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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.

Call Your Legislators
This proposal to cut Medicaid is expected to move quickly. Legislators are on break and at home in their districts this week, so now is the prime opportunity to tell House members how cuts to Medicaid will affect you or your families.

Talking Points

  • Medicaid is a vital source of health care and related services for Minnesotans of all ages with disabilities, including autism.
  • The proposal to turn Medicaid into per capita allotments or block grants would result in devastating cuts to Minnesota's Health and Human Services budget and have ramifications for our overall state.
  • Minnesota already has the opportunity for flexibility under the current Medicaid program. Innovative programs such as Minnesota's Medicaid Accountable Care Organization (ACO) model, Integrated Health Partnerships (IHP)s which is currently serving over 342,000 Minnesotans enrolled in Medical Assistance - has already produced substantial savings for Minnesota. Innovation will be hampered if the state's Medical Assistance budget is dramatically reduced. How can providers be expected to try innovative new programs when they are struggling to keep their doors open?
  • This plan simply shifts costs from the federal government to states and working families.
  • Costs will be shifted to counties and county budgets will be impacted.
  • This proposal requires more state general fund dollars to be spent on health care and could pull funds from other areas of the state budget.
  • Cuts to the state budget will have a dramatic negative impact on Minnesota's health care workforce. Many areas of the state depend on jobs in health care and these jobs support the local economy.

How To Contact Your U.S. House Member
Please note that while e-mail is the simplest way to contact your representative, phone calls can be more effective, even if your legislators aren't available and you speak with someone from their staff. CLICK HERE to find out who your U.S. House representatives are and to get their contact information.