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Hot Topic: ACA Repeal

Congress is on a fast track to repeal major portions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and to make drastic cuts to state Medicaid programs. 

These cuts will affect services, maybe even services you receive. Your federal lawmakers want to get this done by mid-April, right about the time the Iowa Legislature adjourns for the year. Advocates need to explain why the Affordable Care Act (aka “Obamacare”) and Medicaid are essential to people with disabilities and their families.  

ACA Repeal Resources:

Read Enough? Want to Take Action? 

For many adults with developmental disabilities, Iowa’s Medicaid program is their health insurance. It pays for care from doctors, specialists, and hospitals, as well as prescriptions. Iowa, like all states, receives Medicaid funding to help pay for the cost of long-term supports that people with disabilities receive. Still more receive services through our state’s expansion program, the Iowa Health & Wellness Plan.

Thousands of Iowans with disabilities depend on Medicaid - or will need it in the future - to remain healthy, live in the community, and stay out of costly institutions. Many other groups of people will also be affected. While the discussion of the Congressional plan is ongoing and there may be changes, it is clear that Medicaid at the state level will be impacted. It is important to share your story of Why Medicaid Matters to You.

Our Congressional Representatives and Senators need to know the impact Medicaid has on people's lives - and they need to know now. If you or someone you know relies on Medicaid-paid services -- or will in the future -- take these easy steps:

  • Think about "Why Medicaid Matters to Me.” How do these services help you? What would you do without them?
  • Email Senator Charles Grassley, Senator Joni Ernst, and your US Representative. Briefly tell them the positive impact Medicaid-funded services and community supports have had on your life or the life of someone you care about. Ask them to reject the plan moving through Congress now, and reconsider the impact it will have on Iowans with disabilities. Use some of the information from the messages below to help you. You can email all three of your federal elected officials here.
  • Email President Trump. Let him know the positive impact Medicaid-funded services and community supports have had on your life or the life of someone you care about. Ask him to revise his plan to cut these services.  You can email him here.

Here are a few messages that you might consider using if this change affects you:

  • Do not cut and cap Medicaid! Medicaid is funded with state and federal funds. Under a Medicaid cap, the federal government would limit its share. The intent of this cap is to save federal government money, which means cuts to states. That could mean losing home and community-based services and supports, increasing HCBS waiver waiting lists, losing optional services that help people live successfully in the community, more unnecessary institutionalization, and shifting costs to individuals or family members to make up for the federal cuts. The costs of providing health care and long term services and supports will not go away, but will be shifted to individuals, parents, states, and providers. For additional information, see the Consortium of Citizens with Disabilities’ fact sheet about Medicaid.
  • Do not repeal the Affordable Care Act’s protections for people with disabilities! The ACA is the most significant law for people with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act. Because of the ACA: 1) health insurers can't deny health insurance or charge higher premiums if you have a disability or chronic condition; 2) there aren't arbitrary financial limits to how much health care you can get in a year or in your lifetime; and 3) more people with disabilities and chronic health conditions are able to access health care due to the Medicaid expansion. For additional information, see Consortium of Citizens with Disabilties' fact sheet about the ACA.