On June 22nd, 2017, the United States Senate unveiled its plan to revamp healthcare in America. The controversial American Health Care Act, as discussed in the past, narrowly passed in the House of Representatives in early June and moved into the Senate for revisions. After two weeks in committee, where committees controversially dismissed public hearings, the Senate’s revised bill debuted with the new name Better Care Reconciliation Act.
The Better Care Reconciliation Act comes with huge revisions to the House version of the American Health Care Act. Healthcare in the United States would change radically, but among the notable changes are big cuts to Medicaid, allowing insurance companies to reduce coverage for people with preexisting medical conditions, large cuts to disability services, and de-funding mental health coverage. As a result, the Senate revisions have come under fierce criticism for cuts that could negatively affect millions of Americans from low-income families to the chronically ill. And for the FACT population, it could be especially hurtful in forcing our loved ones out of receiving the healthcare they need.
It is uncertain if the bill has the votes necessary to pass, but it is crucial that our FACT family makes our voice heard. Contact your Senator and Congressperson (you can find your representatives and senators in Congress here, take down their contact information, and take the time to call them to educate them on how the ACA has helped you and your loved ones and advise them to oppose the upcoming changes) and make whatever donations you can to advocacy organizations. The activities of the disability advocates from ADAPT have been particularly notable. Let’s hope that the coverage of people in wheelchairs and with assistance devices being arrested for chaining themselves to doors or obstructing traffic will open some eyes to the importance of Medicaid, particularly for disabled communities.