Heading over to the Capitol. The Senate is considering their grand bargain budget package today but may not vote on it.
Important story from the ACLU below.
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Don’t Underestimate the Catastrophic Impact That the Trump Administration’s Policies Will Have on People With Disabilities
ania Leveille, Senior Legislative Counsel
& Susan Mizner, Disability Counsel, ACLU
JANUARY 23, 2017 | 9:15 AM
On Tuesday, Republican Rep. Tom Price of Georgia, Trump’s nominee for secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, is scheduled to testify before the Senate Finance Committee. During his confirmation hearing, he will almost certainly be grilled about the radical changes to our health care infrastructure that he and Trump intend to implement, but senators should make it a point to dig deep into how the administration’s proposals will endanger the lives of people with disabilities.
We already know that Price supports repeal of the Affordable Care Act, a law that includes numerous protections for people with disabilities. For example, the ACA ensures insurance coverage for people with pre-existing conditions — such as people with disabilities — and makes certain that individuals with disabilities are not priced out of coverage or denied health care after pricey hospital stays.
What many people don’t yet know is that Price, House Speaker Paul Ryan, and Trump have proposed making significant changes to Medicaid, the health insurance program that covers low-income people, including those with disabilities. These changes are not to make the program more efficient. Medicaid is significantly more efficient than private insurance; these changes are to finance tax cuts. The plan is to slowly reduce the dollars available, so that at the end of ten years, $1 trillion will have been cut from healthcare for poor people and people with disabilities.
Not surprisingly, these cuts would be devastating. What is more, the changes in how the system is run would risk the fundamental right to freedom for people with significant disabilities.
The Trump administration has a long road to walk before it can repair its damaged reputation within the disability community.
Medicaid is the primary source of funding for the services that allow people with disabilities to live in their own homes and make their own choices about daily life, instead of being warehoused in institutions. Medicaid allows people who would otherwise languish in nursing homes and psychiatric hospitals to move to a community where they can work, play, and live, integrated with the rest of the society.
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