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I’m assuming you are going to watch the short first, but just in case you don’t, please watch it first (by clicking the image above) – and:

The Time to Mobilize is NOW

“To advocates from across the country who care about services and supports for children, youth, and adults with disabilities, we are at a point when It is crucial to mobilize advocacy against the Senate bill that is being considered to deconstruct the Medicaid program.

After today’s reveal of the new Senate health care bill, the information we have from staff is that the Republicans are close to having their 50 votes needed to move the bill forward.

The vote on the bill is likely to take place late Thursday or sometime Friday of the coming week. This is crunch time and we really need people to be speaking loudly to oppose the bill.

The bill:
• Still contains provisions to deconstruct, cap, and cut Medicaid;
• Still allows for waivers to eliminate the essential health care benefits;
• Still allows for waivers to disregard the prohibition to discriminate against pre-existing conditions;
• Still eliminates the incentive to provide home and community-based services by eliminating the FMAP increase; and
• Contains a new section that will create two risk pools—one that will segregate high health care need individuals from those with lower needs—and increase premium costs.

Now is the time to mobilize—Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Monday—unfortunately, there are no weekends while this fight continues. The most important Senators to convince are Sens. Heller (NV), Capito (WV), Murkowski (AK), Cassidy (LA), and Portman (OH), in that order.

What you can do is call your Senators; e-mail them; visit their offices; write short stories about yourself, your child, your parent, your relatives, or your friends who have a disability and need the support of Medicaid and health care—include a picture with your story; video yourself and share your story on Facebook and Twitter—make sure you include your Senator so she or he can see your social media; and ask friends and family to do the same. Your messages and stories are the best way to combat this bad policy.

As great advocates from across the country , your help in mobilizing others tomorrow and over the weekend is essential to defeating this bill. Despite what you are hearing in the media, our information is the votes are almost there to pass the bill. The next four days are crucial. Now is the time to fight and to fight together. Thank you for any and all help you can provide.”

In a nutshell:

  • Tag and call out Senators Heller (NV), Capito (WV), Murkowski (AK), Cassidy (LA), and Portman (OH) ( in that order) as we share our #SaveMedicaid stories
  • Ask friends living in those states to call the Senator’s offices

The full text of the proposed changes

The section by section summary of the bill:

If you don’t care about Medicaid, then watch this, because that “healthcare” bill is going to affect you, too!

Amazing things are happening here in the United States.

The awful orange-ness that is Trump keeps digging deeper holes for himself, the Republicans find new ways to oppress and kill, the majority of Americans are put to the test to actually define what is of importance to themselves, and hey – the disabled are kicking major ass!

Disabled activists are organizing and leading sit-ins all over the place, demonstrating against the BCRA (“Trumpcare”).

[mpc_interactive_image background_image=”41589″ mpc_ribbon__font_color=”#ffb566″ mpc_ribbon__text=”Activist Ash Brittenham, photo by Kings Floyd”][/mpc_interactive_image]

Activists are creating videos about what Medicaid is and what it means –

 

The parent community is rising up, with posts like Hallie’s (on why this photo of her daughter made her cry) and Jisun’s (on Medicaid is Inclusion), and helpful pieces by people with disabilities like this post on what you can do as an ally without a disability and the Trumpcare Toolkit.

I’m all the feels right now.

I’m deeply grateful to my activist friends for protesting, I feel proud by association.

I’m scared – not so much for myself or Moxie, to be honest, because we always have the option of moving to France (Moxie is a dual citizen), or hey, even back to Japan, where there is a national plan that covers you for free, or socialist Macau.

I’m not scared for us as much as I’m scared for people with disabilities who might be institutionalized if this “health care” bill pushes forward and Medicaid cuts are made.

I’m scared for those parents of kids with disabilities who do not understand that Medicaid is far, FAR from just a healthcare system – that it funds the supports that they need for their kids.

I’m scared for anyone and everyone that needs this and has no other options, or who will not understand the importance of this until it is too late.

Grateful. Proud. Scared.

I’m angry too. Anger is probably an obvious – I’m livid that we live in a country that is run by people who care so little about others, angry that our educational system is so messed up that so many people don’t even understand what all of this means. I’m disappointed that we need to explain all of this, and I’m heart sick that this means that we (as a country) have obvious self-worth issues that go deep.

We don’t think we are worth national health care, we don’t think it’s our human right.

That feeling moves me back to gratitude to my disabled friends who are out there protesting, literally putting their lives on the line, saying, “WE ARE WORTH CARE.”

Perhaps this explosion of action will awaken some.

I can’t help but think it will, that it already has. That people who had no idea that any of this existed are now seeing things through a new lens. Perhaps all of the can and will galvanize us to fundamentally change this system of ours that is so broken.

We haven’t been hearing any updates about the new “health care” bill that is being written, and that is for good reason: the bill is being written in secret.

The rules are being changed behind the scenes and roadblocks removed. The plan is to put it all together in one big amendment and substitute it for the House version very quickly on June 26 and go straight to floor for vote. No further discussion allowed, no additional amendments.

Funding will wither away year by year, waitlists will grow even more, and people with disabilities will have less opportunities to contribute, be independent and healthy, and will have a lower quality of life.

But make no mistake about this – Medicaid DOES NOT just serve those of us with disabilities! Even if you don’t have a disability, even if no-one in your family or circle of friends has a disability, you are probably going to need Medicaid at some point in your life. Read this for more. So don’t just do this for us; do it for your own future.

Why the proposed changes matter: Medicaid is a federal-state partnership. With the changes that have been proposed (blocks, caps and complete eradication of some parts), the federal government is essentially pulling out of the partnership. The cost of programs, supports and healthcare will be placed fully on the states, which financially strapped states will not be able to meet.

What to do: When the bill is finished, it’ll be sent to the Congressional Budget Office. It’ll take CBO about two weeks to evaluate and score a draft bill. Senate Republicans then want to vote on the bill before the July 4th recess.

We only need a few Republicans to break from party lines and be prepared to vote against bill. This needs to happen before June 23rd.

  1. Your first call should be to your senator’s main number (in a state or Washington office, either is fine). Staffer working on health care issues is best! A list of them is linked here.
  2. The Conservatives (13 of whom are the only people writing this bill) should be called, as well as the Moderates. Both are linked here. We are likely to have more success with the Moderates – and we only need a few to break from the party line, after all.

But what do you do if your own personal senators are not on either of these lists?

  • Call yours anyway as your name will go on a tally of ‘constituents who are mad about this.’
  • Contact the position, not the person. According to this helpful post on LifeHacker, 

“A member of Congress’s phone number is for constituents, not for the general public. Leave those lines open, and instead look up the office for the position they hold. I can’t seem to find a number like this for Mitch McConnell, but there is a phone line for the Speaker of the House that is separate from Paul Ryan’s regular number. And instead of bugging Nancy Pelosi, write or call the Office of the Democratic Leader. Each committee has its own contact information as well. You can call either leader of the House Intelligence Committee, for example, without having to clog up either Rep. Nunes’s or Rep. Schiff’s constituent phone lines.”

  • Ask your rep to pressure the person you’re concerned about. This works best if you have a member of Congress who shares your views on an issue. Let them know that you care about what’s going on, and ask them how they are going to stand up to their colleagues.
  • Get your friends to pick up the phone. Find a buddy who lives in another state who can make the call for you. And this is not cheating – this is getting others engaged!

For more info:

Need a Story to Share?

 

Your Senator could be the one who saves Medicaid. Your call could be the one to make the difference.

 

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Thanks to HuffPo for picking up this piece:

Medicaid is Getting Killed. Here’s What You Need to Know

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