The American Health Care Act (AHCA)

Threats to the ACA and Medicaid are on the table. Now is the time for us to be empowered and fight! We are calling on those inside and outside of The Arc network to take action. As new threats to the civil rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities arise, we want to keep you in the loop with the most up to date information.

The Affordable Care Act (ACA) made significant progress in expanding access to health care for individuals with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities (I/DD). Access to consistent and reliable healthcare is imperative for individuals with I/DD, and the ACA created much-needed reforms to health insurance, addressed systemic discrimination, and expanded coverage.

Members of the House of Representatives and the Trump Administration are renewing discussions of changes to the AHCA bill to gain enough support for passage of this dangerous bill. The latest efforts are meant to attract more support for the bill by making even MORE devastating cuts:

  • A decimated Medicaid program: The federal government would no longer share in the costs of providing health care services and community living supports beyond the capped amount, a proposal known as per capita caps. It weakens Medicaid by ending the Medicaid expansion earlier, offering Medicaid block grants to states, and promoting work requirements. 
  • Loss of essential health benefits: New discussions are happening around giving states the option to waive important consumer protections in the Affordable Care Act.  For example, states could choose to ignore the essential health benefits requirement. The essential health benefits were designed to ensure that health plans cover basic needs such as prescription drugs, mental health services, and rehabilitative and habilitative services and devices, that have been critically important to people with disabilities and chronic health conditions.  Without a requirement that basic services be included in the health plans, insurers are likely to drop coverage of therapies or medications that would support people with more health care needs.  
  • No more protections for pre-existing conditions: Another dangerous change being discussed is letting states waive the requirement for community rating.  This would allow the insurance companies to charge people with pre-existing conditions whatever they wanted, essentially making the pre-existing condition protections meaningless.  The combination of these changes would make it nearly impossible for people with pre-existing conditions to find affordable plans that cover basic health care services.  

Take Action:

We MUST stop Congress from moving forward with this harmful bill.  Call your Senators and Representatives now! Every single call matters! Don’t let them take away health care and services for millions of people and reduce federal support. Health care should not be cut to pay for tax cuts.

What to Say:

  • I am a member of The Arc.
  • I am a person with I/DD, or I am a family member of someone with I/DD, or I am a professional in the disability field.
  • Do NOT support the American Health Care Act, the bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA).  
  • Do NOT allow cuts to critical Medicaid services to pay for tax cuts.
  • Do NOT allow states to opt out of requiring health plans to cover basic health care and keep it affordable for people with pre-existing conditions.