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For the past several months, Ohio Valley Goodwill has been working in partnership with its County Board of Developmental Disabilities partners to voice concerns about the proposed Medicaid cuts in the proposed Health Care bill. Despite a short delay, the Senate is still expected to vote on the latest version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act. The latest revisions to the bill do NOT change the devastating cuts to the Medicaid program that over 10 million people with disabilities rely on to live and work in their communities. Goodwill and the individuals the agency serves are working together to take action to tell Senator Portman why Medicaid matters to them. The message they are sending to Senator Portman is an appeal to please oppose the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) because it would cut critical employment support services for people with disabilities to work and live independently. Medicaid provides vital health care services and long-term services and supports to 10 million people with disabilities. The BCRA also repeals major provisions of the Affordable Care Act and many of its critical health coverage for people with disabilities.
If the BCRA is enacted as a law, millions of people with disabilities will lose critical services such as employment support services, mental health services, and rehabilitative and habilitative services. This would make it nearly impossible for people with disabilities to work and live independently.
In similar fashion, the Ohio Association of County Boards has issued a position statement opposing the current Senate bill calls for a significant slowdown in the growth of federal spending for Medicaid. If funding needs continue to increase at current levels, this could eventually lead to significant shortfalls in the state’s Medicaid budget. Projections released Wednesday from the Cleveland-based Center for Community Solutions indicate that this could lead to a funding gap between of $13.4 billion and $17.7 billion for the Medicaid disability category (which includes DD services as well as services for those eligible for SSDI).
OACB is concerned that the size of the spend-down under the BCRA’s block-granting proposal could force Ohio lawmakers to make difficult financial decisions as multiple stakeholder groups compete for a shrinking pool of funds. In addition, OACB is concerned that the acceleration of the spend-down starting in 2025 (due to changes in how the Senate plan would allot Medicaid dollars) would cause service demand to further outpace available funds. As such, OACB formally opposes the legislation and asks Ohio’s Senators to support a more financially sustainably alternative through an amendment or new legislation.
Ohio Valley Goodwill will continue to work with its self-advocacy team to pursue outreach efforts to Senator Portman’s office. Two of the organization’s team members will be attending the ACCSES Conference in Washington DC July 24th through July 26th and are hoping to have a face-to-face meeting with the Senator during their time in DC. Join Ohio Valley Goodwill in voicing your concerns about the proposed Medicaid cuts by emailing Senator Portman at www.portman.senate.gov