Feb. 24, 2017: IMMEDIATE ACTION NEEDED
U.S. Congress slated to introduce significant cuts to Medicaid that will affect individuals with disabilities. If you oppose Medicaid cuts, contact your legislators.
At the beginning of next week (Feb. 27-Mar. 3), the United States House of Representatives is anticipated to introduce a plan to drastically reduce Medicaid funding to states as part of the repeal of the Affordable Care Act (also known as "Obamacare).
In Minnesota, Medicaid is known as Medical Assistance (MA), and is a critical mechanism that ensures healthcare coverage and services for people with disabilities of all ages, the elderly, children, and low-income adults.
Currently, federal Medicaid funding provides an open-ended commitment to help states cover Medicaid costs for all eligible individuals. However, congressional leaders have stated that they are looking at capping individual reimbursements to a fixed amount per person, or offer block grants to states that could potentially not cover the necessary expenses. Either approach would result in a devastating cut in Medicaid spending at the federal level, which would force Minnesota to cover the costs of insuring the most vulnerable individuals from the state budget. Without an increase in state taxes to cover these costs, the likely result is more limited access to needed services and longer waiting lists.
The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities has annouced it's 2017 legislative agenda, which includes Consumer-Directed Community Supports, Individualized Living Options, and Medical Assistance Spenddown. Click here to link to the MNCCD website that features the complete list of 2017 legislative agenda items.
Employment opportunities for Minnesotans with disabilities are expanding through the Minnesota Olmstead Plan and Employment First Policy. Many Minnesotans with disabilities “choose” unemployment and under-employment because they do not have access to the information and experiences they need to make an informed choice about employment in the regular workforce. Click here for information on the Olmstead Plan and Employment First Myths & Realities.
The Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) recently released Frequenty Asked Questions & Answers regarding the Safe & Supportive MN Schools Act. Click here to access MDE's information.