Photos courtesy of the ANCOR National Advocacy Campaign's "Cost of Compassion" video. Access the video by clicking on the images and learn more about issues surrounding the direct support professional workforce here.
Health Care Budget Bill Defeated! Great work, advocates!
We are relieved to announce that the health care budget bill, which had deep repercussions for Medicaid, is off the table. Please take a moment to appreciate the scope of your advocacy's effect... But then the work continues because Medicaid remains vulnerable.
In a dramatic turn of events at nearly 2 am ET on July 28, 3 GOP Senators and all Democratic Senators defeated the Senate health care budget bill by voting 51 to 49 against an amendment that would have moved the bill forward. (Learn more about the process here). The three Republicans are Sen. Susan Collins (ME), Sen. John McCain (AZ) and Sen. Lisa Murkowski (AK). If they are your Senators, please take a moment to thank them for their support, likewise if you have a Democratic Senator.
What now? Senate Republican Leader McConnell has pulled the Senate health care bill and only placed nominations on the docket for the week of July 31. The House of Representatives is on recess. We will keep you updated as news emerges as to whether Senator McConnell will resume attempts to reform health care (either through a different bill or by reaching out to Democrats), or move on to other pressing issues such as tax reform or the debt ceiling.
Medicaid reform will likely continue to be on the agenda this year regardless of the health care bill outcome, either through regulatory action by HHS and CMS or through other Congressional bills such as CHIP re-authorization. We will keep you posted as the policy discussion develops!
Now is the time for you to educate your Members of Congress on the importance of Medicaid, and also invest time in relationships at the state level. We have seen the importance of governors in the health care debate - for example, Senator McCain was partly moved to oppose the bill because of his governor's concerns with it. And Congress remains very unaware of the full scope of Medicaid's meaning for the disability community. So your advocacy will continue to matter and we cannot afford apathy - even as we feel relief for today's victory and appreciate the tremendous work done by advocates in the past seven months.
ANCOR is committed to finding bipartisan solutions to keep Medicaid sustainable and IDD services stable - stay tuned as we update you on how to continue to Save Our Services!