Take Action: June Legislative Committee Meetings

Update (6/5/18): The rules were approved in the Public Health joint committee and will be next voted upon by the ALC Rules & Regulations Joint Committee on Tuesday, June 12 at 1pm in Little Rock. Contact the committee members. Read below to catch up if you wonder which issues are being voted upon.


Original post: MSL has announced on Facebook that this committee meeting would be occurring on June 4th and that it was moved to Jonesboro. Here is some information to help you to understand what’s happening when, and what you need to do.

If you’re lost and need to catch up, you can watch a video we previously released on the subject.

Screen Shot 2018-06-03 at 10.01.07 PM

Several important issues are being discussed that affect children as well as adults:

Here is how you can contact the people of the Public Health Committee:

2018 Election Info

It’s election season! In fact, early voting for primaries has begun. That means it’s time for you to do some homework and make decisions about which issues are most important to you. Sometimes your values on different issues may clash, which is why it’s important to rank one of them as most important to you.

Medicaid is a hot topic. We’ve seen a lot of change, and depending on the officials we elect, we may see even more. That’s why it’s important to be informed about election deadlines, requirements, and the candidates.


Your first question might be:

Who’s running?

Click here to find out.


Next you’re probably asking:

What are the deadlines?

Elections for the office of Arkansas House of Representatives will take place soon!

  • candidate filing deadline – March 1, 2018.
  • primary election – May 22, 2018.
  • primary runoff election – June 19, 2018.
  • general election – November 6, 2018.

All 100 House seats are up for election in 2018. Arkansas state representatives serve two-year terms, with all seats up for election every two years.

Elections for the office of Arkansas State Senate are also happening soon.

  • candidate filing deadline – March 1, 2018,
  • primary election – May 22, 2018.
  • primary runoff election – June 19, 2018.
  • general election – November 6, 2018.

A total of 18 seats out of the chamber’s 35 seats are up for election in 2018.Arkansas state senators serve one two-year term and two four-year terms each decade.

Arkansas will also hold elections for Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Auditor, and Treasurer on November 6, 2018. The candidate filing deadline was March 1, 2018.

The 2018 U.S. House of Representatives will hold elections

  • candidate filing deadline – March 1, 2018,
  • primary election – May 22, 2018.
  • general election – November 6, 2018.

Arkansans elect representatives to the U.S. House, one from each of the state’s four congressional districts.


How can I be informed about the candidates?

As candidates are campaigning, make sure you take every opportunity to inform yourself. Know what questions to ask!


Have I met the requirements to vote?

Voter Registration

To register to vote in Arkansas you should provide one of the following:

  • The Last Four Digits of your Social Security Number
  • Your Arkansas Driver’s License Number

If you do not have any of these IDs, you can provide a copy of one of the following with your registration application:

  • Current and Valid Photo ID
  • Government Issued Document that shows your current name and address
  • Utility Bill
  • Government Check
  • Bank Statement
  • Paycheck that Shows your current name and address

You can alternatively provide one of these documents when you vote to complete your registration.

Voting In-Person

In Arkansas, you need to show a valid ID to vote. You can use any ID from this list:

  • Paycheck that shows your Current Name and Address
  • Current and Valid Photo ID
  • Utility Bill
  • Bank Statement
  • Government Check
  • Government Issued Document that shows your Current Name and Address
  • Veteran Health ID Issued by US Department of Veterans Affairs

Where should I vote?

Find out.


Source 1

Source 2

Source 3

One Therapy Rule – Part 1

MSL has done some research on a change coming our way. You may have heard of it – the “One Therapy Rule,” formally known as the EIDT Program. Watch this video and stay tuned for your opportunity to take action.

Tax Reform Bill: How to Contact AR Senators


Watch the video above to get all of the contact information to get contact information and tips.

Other helpful links:

https://www.npr.org/templates/event/embeddedVideo.php?storyId=567758536&mediaId=567762951

Understanding the House Tax Bill

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!

    Making Sense of the Manuals for Public Comment

    Screen Shot 2017-07-17 at 10.36.45 AMDHS released several manuals to the Medicaid website on July 13, 2017 that are available for public comment until August 11. Once public comment ends, these rules will be sent through the legislative committees and passed as law.

    “In accordance with federal and state law, the Division of Medical Services of the Arkansas Department of Human Services must advertise and make available for public comment proposed new and amended rules and other documents, such as certain initial waiver requests and waiver renewals.”

    However, they released over 60 documents actually, which may have left you feeling confused about which one needs your comment or what’s in them all. Here’s your guide to wading through the state terminology and legalese.


    RULE #1: When you send in your comments, make sure to list the document that you wish to comment on!

    RULE #2: Make sure you send your comments to the appropriate person.


    Send your comments to Shelby.Maldonado@dhs.arkansas.gov, and as long as you’ve included the right document title, she will be able to direct it to the correct person.

    • If you’re viewing this on a phone or tablet, you might want to turn it to the side (landscape) to view the width of the table well. The right 2 columns are what MSL has added to help with the list that DHS provided.

    img_0478-1

    Instead of scrolling through the long table, which can be confusing, this list of topics can get you straight to what you want to see. Click the link to go directly to the corresponding manual in the table.

     


    The following table will attempt to explain what each document is (memo, explanation letter, mark up with changes, or new manual), what it contains, and possibly some documents to assist you. Remember, the list of topics above can assist you in finding what you need much faster.

    Document Title Document Description Assisting docs/info
    Interested Persons and Providers Letter for DDS Standards for Certification, Investigation and Monitoring; State Plan Amendment 2017-011; Child Health Management Services provider manual update; and Developmental Day Treatment Clinic Services provider manual update IPLtrSPA17-011.doc memo
    (SPA011 – 1 of 15)
    State Plan Amendment 2017-011 Attachment 3.1A 1i SPA17-011-31A1i.doc STATE PLAN UNDER TITLE XIX OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT: AMOUNT, DURATION AND SCOPE OF
    SERVICES PROVIDED, CATEGORICALLY NEEDY (page as it will appear in new manual)
    (SPA011 – 2 of 15) Page 1i
    State Plan Amendment 2017-011 Attachment 3.1A 1i with tracked changes SPA17-011-31A1i-markup.doc SAME MANUAL PAGE: mark up that shows changes
    (SPA011 – 3 of 15) Page 1i
    State Plan Amendment 2017-011 Attachment 3.1A 4A SPA17-011-31A4A.doc STATE PLAN UNDER TITLE XIX OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT: AMOUNT, DURATION AND SCOPE OF
    SERVICES PROVIDED, CATEGORICALLY NEEDY (page as it wil appear in new manual)
    (SPA011 – 4 of 15) Page 4a
    State Plan Amendment 2017-011 Attachment 3.1A 4A with tracked changes SPA17-011-31A4A-markup.doc SAME MANUAL PAGE: mark up that shows changes
    (SPA011 – 5 of 15) Page 4a
    State Plan Amendment 2017-011 Attachment 3-1B 2h SPA17-011-31B2h.doc STATE PLAN UNDER TITLE XIX OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT: AMOUNT, DURATION AND SCOPE OF
    SERVICES PROVIDED, MEDICALLY NEEDY (page as it wil appear in new manual)
    (SPA011 – 6 of 15) Page 2h
    State Plan Amendment 2017-011 Attachment 3-1B 2h SPA17-011-31B2h-markup.doc SAME MANUAL PAGE: mark up that shows changes
    (SPA011 – 7 of 15) Page 2h
    State Plan Amendment 2017-011 SPA17-011-31B4b.doc STATE PLAN UNDER TITLE XIX OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT: AMOUNT, DURATION AND SCOPE OF
    SERVICES PROVIDED, MEDICALLY NEEDY (page as it wil appear in new manual)
    (SPA011 – 8 of 15) Page 4b
    State Plan Amendment 2017-011 SPA17-011-31B4b-markup.doc SAME MANUAL PAGE: mark up that shows changes 1. IA Public Notice
    2. IA Manual Summary
    3. IA fiscal Impact
    (SPA011 – 9 of 15) Page 4b
    DDS Standards for Certification, Investigation and Monitoring – Redline DDS-Stnds-Redline.doc DDS STANDARDS for Certification, Investigation, an Monitoring for Center-Based Community Services  1. Summary DDTCS-CHMS 2. Info
    (SPA011 – 10 of 15) entire manual, mark up that shows changes
    DDS Standards for Certification, Investigation and Monitoring DDS-Stnds-Clean.doc DDS STANDARDS for Certification, Investigation, an Monitoring for Center-Based Community Services
    (SPA011 – 11 of 15) entire manual, as it will appear
    CHMS-2-17 Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter CHMS-2-17.doc letter that explains which parts of the CHMS manual have been changed
    (SPA011 – 12 of 15)
    CHMS-2-17 Provider Manual Update CHMS-2-17up.doc CHMS Manual mark up with changes. 1. Summary DDTCS-CHMS 2. Info
    (SPA011 – 13 of 15)
    DDTCS-2-17 Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter DDTCS-2-17.doc letter that explains which parts of the DDTCS manual have been changed
    (SPA011 – 14 of 15)
    DDTCS-2-17 Provider Manual Update DDTCS-2-17up.doc DDTCS Manual mark up with changes. 1. Summary DDTCS-CHMS 2. Info
    (SPA011 – 15 of 15)
    Interested Persons and Providers Letter for State Plan Amendment 2017-010, Outpatient Behavioral Health Services and Inpatient Psychiatric Provider Manual Updates and Residential Community Reintegration Program Certification IPLtrSPA17-010.doc memo
    (SPA010 – 1 of 8)
    State Plan Amendment 2017-010 Attachment 3.1 A SPA010-Attach3-1A.doc STATE PLAN UNDER TITLE XIX OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT: AMOUNT, DURATION AND SCOPE OF
    SERVICES PROVIDED, CATEGORICALLY NEEDY (page as it will appear in new manual – NO MARK UP AVAILABLE)
    (SPA010 – 2 of 8) Page 6c17a
    State Plan Amendment 2017-010 Attachment 3.1 B SPA010-Attach3-1B.doc STATE PLAN UNDER TITLE XIX OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT: AMOUNT, DURATION AND SCOPE OF
    SERVICES PROVIDED, MEDICALLY NEEDY (page as it will appear in new manual – NO MARK UP AVAILABLE)
    (SPA010 – 3 of 8) Page 5f17a
    Residential Community Integration Program Certification ResCommReintCert.doc Residential Community Integration Program Certification
    (SPA010 – 4 of 8) entire manual as it will appear NO MARK UP AVAILABLE
    Inpatient Psychiatric (INPPSYCH-1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter INPPSYCH-1-17.doc Letter that shows the changes to Manual Update for Inpatient Psychiatric Services for Under Age 21
    (SPA010 – 5 of 8)
    INPPSYCH-1-17 Provider Manual Update INPPSYCH-1-17up.doc Manual Update for Inpatient Psychiatric Services for Under Age 21
    (SPA010 – 6 of 8) entire manual as it will appear NO MARK UP AVAILABLE
    Outpatient Behavioral Health Services (OBHS-1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter OBHS-1-17.doc Letter that shows the changes to Manual Update for Outpatient Behavioral Health Services
    (SPA010 – 7 of 8)
    OBHS-1-17 Provider Manual Update OBHS-1-17up.doc Manual Update for Outpatient Behavioral Health Services
    (SPA010 – 8 of 8) entire manual, mark up that shows changes
    Interested Persons and Providers Letter for Independent Assessment Manual IPLtrAR_IA.doc memo
    (AR_IA – 1 of 2)
    AR Independent Assessment Manual AR_IA_July_17.doc New manual for Independent Assessment 1. IA Public Notice
    2. IA Manual Summary
    3. IA fiscal Impact
    (AR_IA – 2 of 2)
    Interested Persons and Providers Letter for DDS Policy 1076 -Appeals IPLtrDDS1076.doc memo
    (1076 – 1 of 3)
    DDS Policy 1076 with Tracked Changes DDS1076-Appeals-markup.doc DDS Policy APPEALS Manual
    (1076 – 2 of 3) entire manual, mark up that shows changes 1. Summary Appeals
    2. Info Policy 1076 Appeals
    DDS Policy 1076 -Clean DDS1076-Appeals-clean.doc DDS Policy APPEALS Manual
    (1076 – 3 of 3) entire manual, as it will appear
    Interested Persons and Providers Letter for DDS Policy 1086 IPLtrDDS1086.doc memo
    (DDS1086 – 1 of 3)
    DDS Policy 1086 with tracked changes DDS1086-HDC-markup.doc DDS Human Development Center Admission and Discharge Rules Policy Manual
    (DDS1086 – 2 of 3) entire manual, mark up that shows changes 1. 1086 HDC Rules Summary

    2. 1086 Info

    DDS Policy 1086 DDS1086-HDC.doc DDS Human Development Center Admission and Discharge Rules Policy Manual
    (DDS1086 – 3 of 3) entire manual, as it will appear
    Interested Persons and Providers Letter for Medical Services Policy Manual Sections E-600 through E-670 and Appendix R IPLtrABLE.doc memo
    (ABLE – 1 of 2)
    Medical Services Policy Manual Sections E-600 through E-670 and Appendix R ABLE.pdf Able Act Policy Manual: Eligibility Factors, Contributions, Withdrawals, Expenses, Exclusions,
    (ABLE – 2 of 2) entire manual, as it will appear – NO MARK UP AVAILABLE
    Interested Persons and Providers Letter for Community and Employment (CES) 1915 (c) Waiver, DDSCES-1-17 Provider Manual Update and Certification Standards for CES Providers IPLtrDDSCES.doc memo C Waiver
    (CES – 1 of 5)
    DDS Community and Employment Supports (CES) Waiver Minimum Certification Standards DDSCESCertStand-markup.doc DDS Community and Employment Supports (CES) Waiver Minimum Certification Standards
    (CES – 2 of 5) entire manual, mark up that shows changes 1. Summary of Changes

    2. Info – CES Waiver

    DDS Community and Employment Supports (CES) Waiver Minimum Certification Standards DDSCESCertStand.doc DDS Community and Employment Supports (CES) Waiver Minimum Certification Standards
    (CES – 3 of 5) entire manual, as it will appear
    Developmental Disabilities Services Community and Employment Supports (DDSCES1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter DDSCES-1-17.doc Letter that shows the changes to Manual Update for Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – DDS Community and Employment Supports (CES)
    (CES – 4 of 5)
    DDSCES-1-17 Provider Manual DDSCES-1-17up.doc Manual Update for Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – DDS Community and Employment Supports (CES)
    (CES – 5 of 5) entire manual, mark up that shows changes 1. Summary of Changes
    2. Info – CES Waiver
    Interested Persons and Providers Letter for Provider-Led Arkansas Shared Savings Entity (PASSE) Waiver and New Provider Manual IPLtrPASSE.doc memo
    (PASSE 1 of 5)
    Provider-led Arkansas Shared Savings Entity Program – Phase I PASSEWvr.pdf PASSE Program Information B Waiver
    1. Summary of PASSE
    2. Info & Financial Impact
    (PASSE 2 of 5)
    Provider-led Arkansas Shared Savings Entity Spreadsheet SpreadsheetPASSEWvr.pdf PASSE Information – Enrollment Projections, Costs
    (PASSE 3 of 5)
    PASSE-New-17 Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter PASSE-New-17.doc letter that explains Provider-Led Arkansas Shared Savings Entity (PASSE) Program manual
    (PASSE 4 of 5)
    PASSE-New-17 Provider Manual Update PASSE-New-17up.doc New PASSE Manual
    (PASSE 5 of 5) entire manual, mark up 1. Summary of PASSE
    2. Info & Financial Impact
    Interested Persons and Providers Letter for Independent Assessment for Personal Care and Criminal Background Check Requirements for Providers IPLtrIA.doc memo
    (IA – 1 of 22)
    State Plan Amendment 2017-009 with Tracked Changes SPA17-009-markup.doc STATE PLAN UNDER TITLE XIX OF THE SOCIAL SECURITY ACT: AMOUNT, DURATION AND SCOPE OF
    SERVICES PROVIDED, CATEGORICALLY NEEDY (mark up that shows changes
    (IA – 2 of 22) Page 10aa
    State Plan Amendment 2017-009 SPA17-009.doc SAME MANUAL PAGE: as it will appear
    (IA – 2 of 22) Page 10aa
    ARChoices in Home Care Home and Community-Based 2176 Waiver (ARCHOICES-1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter ARCHOICES-1-17.doc letter that explains changes to ARChoices In Homecare Home and Community-Based 2176 Waiver Manual
    (IA – 3 of 22)
    ARCHOICES-1-17 Provider Manual Update ARCHOICES-1-17up.doc ARChoices In Homecare Home and Community-Based 2176 Waiver Manual
    (IA – 4 of 22) entire manual, mark up that shows changes
    Child Health Services/Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment (EPSDT-1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter EPSDT-1-17.doc letter that explains changes to Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – EPSDT Manual
    (IA – 5 of 22)
    EPSDT-1-17 Provider Manual Update EPSDT-1-17up.doc Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – EPSDT Manual change
    (IA – 6 of 22) Section II, mark up that shows changes IA required for certain home health clients
    1. IA Public Notice
    2. IA Manual Summary
    3. IA fiscal Impact
    Home Health (HOMEHLTH-1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter HOMEHLTH-1-17.doc letter that explains changes to Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – Home Health Manual
    (IA – 7 of 22)
    HOMEHLTH-1-17 Provider Manual Update HOMEHLTH-1-17up.doc Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – Home Health Manual change
    (IA – 8 of 22) Section II, mark up that shows changes background check changes
    Hospice (HOSPICE-1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter HOSPICE-1-17.doc letter that explains changes to Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – Hospice Service manual
    (IA – 9 of 22)
    HOSPICE-1-17 Provider Manual Update HOSPICE-1-17up.doc Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – Hospice Service manual changes
    (IA – 10 of 22) Section II, mark up that shows changes background check, IAs for personal care
    1. IA Public Notice
    2. IA Manual Summary
    3. IA fiscal Impact
    IndependentChoices (INCHOICE-1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter INCHOICE-1-17.doc letter that expains changes to Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – IndependentChoices Manual
    (IA – 11 of 22)
    INCHOICE-1-17 Provider Manual Update INCHOICE-1-17up.doc Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – IndependentChoices Manual changes
    (IA – 12 of 22) Section II, mark up that shows changes various changes included background checks
    Personal Care (PERSCARE-1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter PERSCARE-1-17.doc letter that explains changes to Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – Personal Care manual
    (IA – 13 of 22)
    PERSCARE-1-17 Provider Manual Update PERSCARE-1-17up.doc Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – Personal Care Manual changes
    (IA – 14 of 22) Section II, mark up that shows changes
    Private Duty Nursing Services (PDN-1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter PDN-1-17.doc letter that explains changes to the Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – Private Duty Nursing Services manual
    (IA – 15 of 22)
    PDN-1-17 Provider Manual Update PDN-1-17up.doc Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – Private Duty Nursing Services Manual changes
    (IA – 15 of 22) Section II, mark up that shows changes background checks
    Physician (PHYSICN-3-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter PHYSICN-3-17.doc letter that explains changes to the Physician/ Independent Lab/CRNA/Radiation Therapy Center manual
    (IA – 17 of 22)
    PHYSICN-3-17 Provider Manual Update PHYSICN-3-17up.doc Physician/ Independent Lab/CRNA/Radiation Therapy Center manual changes
    (IA – 18 of 22) Section II, mark up that shows changes IA requirement
    1. IA Public Notice
    2. IA Manual Summary
    3. IA fiscal Impact
    Rural Health Clinic (RURLHLTH-1-17) Provider Manual Update Transmittal Letter RURLHLTH-1-17.doc letter that explains changes to the Rural Health Clinic Services manual
    (IA – 19 of 22)
    RURLHLTH-1-17 Provider Manual Update RURLHLTH-1-17up.doc Rural Health Clinic Services manual changes
    (IA – 20 of 22) Section II, mark up that shows changes IA requirement
    1. IA Public Notice
    2. IA Manual Summary
    3. IA fiscal Impact
    Section I (SecI-3-17) All Provider Manuals Update Transmittal Letter SecI-3-17.doc letter that explains the changes to the Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – All Providers manual
    (IA – 21 of 22)
    SecI-3-17 All Provider Manuals Update SecI-3-17up.doc Arkansas Medicaid Health Care Providers – All Providers manual
    (IA – 22 of 22) Section II, mark up that shows changes IA requirement
    1. IA Public Notice
    2. IA Manual Summary
    3. IA fiscal Impact

    Medicaid Saves Lila

    IMG_6439

    This is my sweet girl, Lila. She’s active and intelligent. She loves to swing, eat blackberries, and paint. Don’t you dare turn your back on her because she’s mischievous too! She loves her friends, family, and kitty-cats. She is absolutely the most wonderful thing I’ve ever done with my life, and she just so happens to have Down Syndrome.

    IMG_0135

    She might smile a lot, but her life hasn’t been easy. Born almost a month early due to multiple complications, Lila spent some time in the NICU. She’s overcome multiple illnesses and surgeries, including open heart surgery soon after her first birthday and many others since. In fact, we have received 2 new diagnoses this year alone, and she’ll have at least one surgery.

    IMG_0134

    My husband and I are proud Arkansans. We’re educated, hard-working, tax-paying citizens. At the time of Lila’s birth, we lived in another state. Despite the fact that we both had good jobs and primary insurance coverage, we struggled to provide for her needs. When we moved back to Arkansas, Lila was significantly delayed in many areas.

    IMG_6519 Our friends told us about TEFRA, a type of Medicaid funding that provides for disabled children and that requires the family to pay a premium. Our primary insurance pays first for all that it will cover, and Medicaid makes sure that Lila doesn’t go without the rest. We gladly pay a monthly fee for this essential assistance!

    Lila now receives medical treatments that she needs from specialists and Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapy. She attends a school where she is loved and accepted, and they practice important skills in the classroom to prepare her for mainstream Kindergarten. Lila is constantly learning the necessary skills to be independent: speaking new words, learning to feed herself, to dress herself, and to climb stairs. One of my favorite moments was the first time I ever heard her say, “Ma Ma.” Can you imagine waiting 4 years to hear that?

    IMG_2776We never expected to need Medicaid. Even though we’d paid taxes for years for Medicaid, we didn’t know that a person’s life can change drastically in a moment – a car accident, a stroke, a job loss, a cancer diagnosis, a chromosomal difference – to cause them to need Medicaid. We thought that if we worked hard enough, we could take care of ourselves and Lila. But no matter how hard we work or what we give up, we just can’t afford to provide for all of Lila’s needs. Now, because of Medicaid, Lila is thriving, and we’re not being crushed under the weight of Lila’s ever-growing medical debt. We have hope that she will continue to develop and someday be a valued, contributing member of society. We are incredibly thankful for Medicaid.

    We tell everyone we can how essential Medicaid is! Lila has visited the Capitol and state lawmakers multiple times to represent herself and friends like her. Since she can’t speak much yet, my husband and I tell them how much Medicaid is literally saving lives. I can’t wait for the day that Lila will tell them herself. She brings a beauty and light to this dark world, and we will never stop fighting for her!

    IMG_7902

    Revised Senate health care bill: Where are we now?

    A revision of the BCRA Senate Health Care   bill has been released, but what’s different? We have the one-stop-shop for understanding the bill for yourself.

    Some reports say that they want to vote as early as Tuesday. Get to reading and then get to calling!

    Every call matters. Here’s the number for Senators across the nation: 866-426-2631

    Find your states US Representative & contact his/her office

    Find your state’s US Senator & contact his/her office

    Read the new revised bill to make sure you discover everything for yourself.
    Check out these resources to guide you:
    IMG_0121

     

     

    What was the original bill?

    Full text of the original bill. Click on the image below, and  use the resources above to help you.
    IMG_9664

    How the BCRA will affect you, even if you don’t receive Medicaid

    The topic of health care is not only in some ways oppressive on our minds but also overwhelming these days. Months ago, the House wrote the American Health Care Act (AHCA) in an effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and they passed it on to the Senate. Then, the Senate must have found fault with the AHCA because they wrote their own version of the bill called the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). If the Senate passes their bill, it will have to go to the House for their approval. We have seen months (years!) of coverage on the subject of health care, and it’s downright confusing at this point.

    Let’s try to clarify some of the confusion by pulling a few articles together to show what will change with the Senate health care bill, the BCRA. (The AHCA doesn’t matter if the House approves the BCRA.) This research will show that nearly everyone who isn’t extremely wealthy will be affected negatively by the bill as it stands proposed today. If you care about, or are affected by, any of the following categories, you can expect changes to come to you and your family if this bill were to pass.

    1. Medicaid Funding

    “[T]he Senate bill would radically restructure all parts of Medicaid—not just the expansion provided under the Affordable Care Act.” 1

    “The cumulative impact: a $772 billion spending cut over 10 years, versus current law, and 15 million fewer people enrolled in Medicaid in 2026.” 2

    2. Essential Health Benefits

    “But another change might have more far-reaching effects: eliminating the Affordable Care Act’s ‘essential health benefits,’ or EHBs. That shift could affect almost everybody, including the 156 million Americans who receive health coverage through their employers.” 5

    Here’s a rundown of what they are: 4, 5, 6

    • Outpatient care — scheduled doctor visits, (outpatient care you get without being admitted to a hospital)
    • Emergency room trips — ER visits and ambulance trips.
    • In-hospital care — All care people get as hospital patients, such as surgery.
    • Pregnancy, maternity and newborn care — before and after birth
    • Mental health and substance abuse disorder services — (this includes counseling and psychotherapy)
    • Prescription drugs
    • Rehabilitative services and habilitative services – help recovering from an injury or illness, but also treatment (therapy) for kids with autism or cerebral palsy.
    • Lab tests
    • Preventive services — vaccines, cancer screenings, etc.
    • Pediatric services — including dental and vision care for children.

    3. Pre-existing Conditions Protections

    “The BCRA retains the popular ACA provision that people with pre-existing conditions cannot be charged more for insurance because of their health status. However, weakened essential health benefits would hurt people with pre-existing conditions.” 1

    “The Senate bill would retain some limits. It wouldn’t, for example, allow states to waive the prohibition on discriminating on the basis of preexisting conditions. But it would allow states to remove caps on out-of-pocket spending for exchange plans.” 3

    4. Subsidies & Taxes

    “One major difference is that the Senate bill provides subsides only up to 350% of the federal poverty level starting in 2020; the ACA currently provides subsidies up to 400%. In other words, while individuals earning up to $47,550 qualify for help under the ACA, only those earning up to $41,580 would qualify under the Senate plan. This means far fewer people will qualify for aid.” 1

    Sources:

    1 4 Things to Know About the Senate’s Health Care Bill

    4 ways you probably didn’t know the Republican bill changes Medicaid

    3  Crazy Waivers

    4 What Are ‘Essential Benefits’ in GOP Health Care Bill Debate?

    5 The 10 ‘essential’ benefits that could be eliminated under the GOP health care plan

    6 What Marketplace health insurance plans cover

    Facts & Faces of Medicaid

    Share the facts and faces of Arkansas Medicaid.

    Show people who Medicaid cuts would hurt. Don’t give up. Keep calling and sharing.

    Data source is credited. We have gathered several of KFF’s posts here to save you some time.