This holiday season, you can make an impact with 2 simple words: Thank you.
Especially if you’re a Medicaid recipient, let the people in charge know that we need Medicaid, and let them know what it does for us. Tell them thank you, and ask them to keep directing funding to Medicaid. Send them a photo of the person who is helped by Medicaid.
This is what advocacy is. It’s so easy! Just speak up for what matters to you.
Email DHS Director Gillespie
Email Governor Hutchinson:
other contact: governor.arkansas.gov/online-services/contact-us
Email any State Congressperson
Contact any Federal Congressman
Contact any elected official
The 2 graphics below are of a letter that is going out to ARWorks beneficiaries who had their coverage closed last week. It contains options for them going forward.
Also, DHS posted many of their notices and letters that have gone out here: https://ardhs.sharepointsite.net/ARWorks/Notice_Samples/Forms/AllItems.aspx
On July 30, 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed Medicare and Medicaid into law. For 53 years, it has served as a safety net for millions of people in times of health and financial hardship.
Let’s celebrate Medicaid by sharing why you’re thankful for it! What has Medicaid done for you, a friend, or a loved one?
Note: Many of these may be shared, so you don’t have to put your whole name. You can include a link to your photo, such as one you’ve shared publicly on your social media profile.
Everyone on the CES Waiver, all of you who enjoy having your loved one living near to you instead of in an institution, & providers who support waiver services:
The ability to live freely in the community has been questioned, according to this article, by a top official with the US Department of Health and Human Services, enough to alarm a group of Congressmen. They formed a bipartisan group and took action.
“The lawmakers said they were told that Lazare said she believed the Supreme Court came to the wrong conclusion in the landmark Olmstead v. L.C. case, which affirmed the right of people with disabilities to access community-based living, and that she prefers segregated and institutional settings. In addition, Lazare reportedly said she believed that a federal Medicaid rule outlining what types of settings qualify as community-based should be revisited, according to a letter from Reps. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Gregg Harper, R-Miss., and Jim Langevin, D-R.I.”
Even when things are quiet in the news, someone in power is thinking these things. Maybe they want to save money, or possibly they think less of people with disabilities. Some in power think they have the means to change these protections. We need to always be communicating to our legislators why we want to live in the community or why we want our loved ones out in the community instead of institutions. We need to know our rights and assert them!
Laws that protect people with disabilities
The ADA National Network
Take a moment to make our Congressmen understand how much living in the community means to us. They are the ones who would have to fight a battle that threatens the ADA.
Contact our Arkansas Congressmen!!
Contact any US elected official!
Each and every state may have Medicaid, but it is not all run the same. According to ASHA, “State regulations and standards differ greatly in other areas of Medicaid, including:
- provider requirements for Medicaid participation, credentialing, and supervision;
- documentation requirements for plan of care approval, criteria for services, authorization, and reimbursement justification;
- Medicaid audit process and penalties for errors;
- use of the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).”
Make sure you’re aware of these differences. For example, TEFRA is an optional waiver that not all states carry, and if they do, they don’t utilize it the same. For example in Arkansas, if a child meets the health requirements, it is accessible for families, no matter their income, on a sliding pay scale. However, the way we understand its application may be specific to Arkansas. If you move, you may not have TEFRA at all.
So how can you know what’s available to you? Use the resources below to find out more about Medicaid and how it’s different across the US!
What if your state has limited resources? There may be more out there than you know. Look around at state and local resources. There are national programs, state benefits, foundations, organizations, and grants that may help you in a bind. For example, check out this list of foundations that assist for children’s special needs.
If Medicaid matters to you, please constantly tell your elected officials. The trend is to cut Medicaid and provide those funds elsewhere. Get the facts to boost your confidence, but don’t stop communicating! Tell your legislators why Medicaid saves you! Here are some ways we could see Medicaid change in coming years.
Each link leads to a different resource we’ve found to try to help you with info or tangible resources. MSL will add to this list as we find more!
News from the Kaiser Family Foundation
“In 8 of the 10 states w/ approved or pending waivers as of March, #Medicaid #workrequirements would apply to all or most older nonelderly adults. #AR & #WI would exempt those age 50+. #AZ would exempt 55 and older and #IN & #UT would exempt 60 and older.”
The Disability community is calling far and wide for people to take action against H.R. 620, saying that it is a bill that “fundamentally weakens the protections of the American with Disabilities Act.” Here are some resources to help you determine if it affects you or someone you love, as well as resources to help you to take action!
Does this affect you or someone you love?
A link originally shared by Disability Rights Arkansas gives these tips:
“Please contact your House Representative(and others from your state) and encourage them to stay strong in their opposition to H.R.620 and any “notice and cure” bill, as a rollback of civil rights. SAVE THE ADA!
- Go to Contacting Congress using your zip code to find out how to reach your House representative via e-mail, phone, Facebook, Twitter, fax, etc.
- Call your Representative using the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121. They will help you find your Representative’s name, and switch you to their office. If you know your Representative’s name, you can use the House of Representatives phone list.
“Hello, my name is [your name]. I’m a constituent from [your state], zip code [your zip code]. I am opposed to H.R. 620 and any change to the equal access protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act. I strongly encourage Representative [add last name] to oppose any reform efforts. Thank you.”
Reasons To Oppose H.R.620:
- H.R. 620 would weaken the civil rights of people with disabilities, making it harder for us to use the same restrooms, shop at the same department stores, and eat at the same restaurants as our non-disabled friends, family members, and peers.
- Disability rights are civil rights. The ADA is a civil rights law. H.R. 620 would not only roll back important parts of the ADA, it would pose risks for other civil rights laws as well (such as Title II of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which bars public accommodations such as hotels, restaurants, and entertainment venues from discriminating based on race; Title III of the ADA was based on this law).
- H.R. 620 would not solve the problems its supporters are claiming it would fix. It would not stop fraudulent lawsuits. State courts and state bar associations are already equipped to address those problems, in better ways, without denying anyone equal access, or their civil rights. They have been successfully shutting down those bad practices in many areas.” More info
How to make sure Congress is listening to you.
Watch the video above to get all of the contact information to get contact information and tips.
Other helpful links:
Author: Lainey Morrow, Medicaid Saves Lives’ Founder
It’s customary this time of year to count our blessings, and there’s one in particular that millions of Americans shouldn’t forget: Medicaid.
If you’re a recipient (or know a recipient), think for a second what your life would be like without Medicaid.
My little girl qualifies for TEFRA because of her diagnosis, and she’s thriving because Medicaid gives her treatments like therapy and medicines that we simply can’t afford. Medicaid not only helps her day-to-day, but it’s also giving her a future where she may someday be able to live on her own and provide for herself. Because of Medicaid, she can climb stairs, say that she wants a drink, draw a line, feed herself with a spoon, and sit quietly with other students around a table. When I think of life without Medicaid, I see many who would be crushed under personal debt and suffering without hope.
If you’re thankful for Medicaid, please tell those who make our state and national policies, especially if you need to continue receiving it.
This is the perfect time of year to let our lawmakers know that we’re thankful for Medicaid. Why? Because it’s improving and even saving lives! I ask you to take a moment, and write your elected officials a note. Even better, include a photo. Tell them why Medicaid is important to you. If writing several is overwhelming, just start with one.
You can also post on social media about why Medicaid is important to you using the hashtag #thankful4Medicaid to help others see why Medicaid is so important.
We need to tell everyone the great things that Medicaid does and who it helps. People need to hear this positive message. By sending notes, calling, and posting on social media, we are clearly communicating that we still need Medicaid, and we’re directly asking the people in charge to continue funding Medicaid for us.
Let’s flood our government with letters and calls this holiday season!
Contact any elected official in the US!
Taxes affect our daily lives, and the House is working on a bill to “reform the tax code.” If taxes are drastically altered, it won’t just affect our personal taxes; Medicaid funding could be affected as well. For example, Senator Cotton called for the repeal of the Obamacare individual mandate through tax reform. That’s why it’s so important to stay on top of what’s happening.
A House committee released the bill, the “Tax Cuts and Jobs Act,” this afternoon, and it’s a very long read.
This is just a first version. They will revise the bill and try to pass it through the House by Thanksgiving to send to the Senate in order for it to take affect by January 1, 2018.
Take the time to try to understand it and respond if necessary. Here are a few articles to help you understand what’s going on:
Make sure you understand this for yourself, and contact your U.S. Senators with your questions, concerns, and comments!