Where the ICI Stands on Health Care and Medicaid

As the US Senate gets ready for a vote on the proposed Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), ICI leadership and staff have been learning about this new legislation. Many of us have concerns about how the proposed bill will impact Americans with disabilities and their families.

Each day, ICI works with individuals and families, community organizations, educational institutions, and state systems to advance our mission of full inclusion for people with disabilities in their communities. Medicaid funds a substantial portion of the services and supports that make inclusion possible in addition to essential health care services. The BCRA will have a devastating impact on access to health care and to home and community-based waiver services, clearly impacting our ability to execute our mission.

In Massachusetts alone, Governor Charlie Baker has indicated that 264,000 state residents will lose their health coverage, and that there will be a cumulative negative impact of more than $8.2 billion on the state by 2025.

At a press conference, Senator Ed Markey commented that the proposed bill will not improve on the current law, will not make it easier to afford care, and will likely take at least $20 billion out of the Massachusetts health care system for Medicaid coverage.

The BCRA will have a direct impact on 33,000 Massachusetts residents with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ICI’s leadership sees this as a civil rights issue.

We strongly encourage everyone who shares our commitment to the rights of people with disabilities to stay informed as this legislation progresses. The outcome will impact our work and the people we care about for many years to come.

Here are some more resources about the BCRA and its potential effects on our community:

http://www.aucd.org/template/news.cfm?news_id=12852&parent=16&parent_title=Home&url=/template/index.cfm

https://www.vox.com/2017/6/22/15855262/senate-health-bill-victims-hurts-medicaid-poor

http://www.wbur.org/commonhealth/2017/06/27/who-wins-who-loses-with-under-the-republican-health-care-proposals

http://www.kff.org/interactive/medicaid-state-fact-sheets/