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Major Changes for Medicaid Expected — Make Sure Your Voice is Heard!

Action needed!

The bill to restructure Medicaid, Medical Assistance in Minnesota, is on a fast track to be voted on by the end of the month in the U.S. Senate.

The Senate version restructures Medicaid to per capita caps and phases out the expansion, greatly reducing funds to states. This restructure will make it far easier to decrease funds to states even further in future years through the budget process. These changes will alter services to people with disabilities and older adults that keep them independent, and cause thousands of Minnesotans to lose healthcare.

Many people are wondering what to do, since Senator Klobuchar and Senator Franken are committed to voting no. Please ask your networks in key states to talk to their U.S. Senators TODAY!

The @ThisIsMedicaid campaign is hosting a Community Conversation on Medicaid on Saturday, June 24th from 2-3:30pm with special guests Senator Franken and Lynn Blewett, PhD, MPA from SHADAC. The event will be held at the Diamondhead Education Center, 200 West Burnsville Pkwy, Burnsville, MN 55337. For more information about the event follow @ThisIsMedicaid on Twitter, or to RSVP to the event visit www.thisismedicaid.org.

May 4, 2017 update: U.S. House of Representatives passes amended version of the American Health Care Act

On the afternoon of May 4, 2017, the House of Representatives passed an amended version of the American Health Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that $880 billion over 10 years would be cut from federal expenditures for Medicaid, leaving states to fill the void or not. The legislation radically changes Medicaid’s financing structure to fixed federal contribution per beneficiary and reduces the federal government’s financial commitment to the program over time.

The new legislation also allows states to pick and choose which of the essential benefits would have to be covered by insurance plans. Furthermore, it allows plans to deny coverage because of pre-existing conditions and eliminates community ratings which prevents health plans from charging higher premiums to people who have medical conditions.

The amended legislation now goes to the Senate for its consideration.

Please support disability services in Minnesota

The Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities has received an urgent request from the Governor’s office asking everyone to write letters in support of the Governor’s budget targets and stating why huge cuts to HHS are NOT ACCEPTABLE.

Please write letters to news editors, to the Governor, and to House and Senate leadership opposing a reduction in the Health and Human Services budget.

There will be an impact on future services for people with disabilities if the budget is reduced by the proposed $505 Million. We need to advocate now! Please call, write or email today.

Minnesota stands to lose billions of dollars in federal funds for the state’s Medical Assistance program if block grants are used to fund the program

The Star Tribune recently published an article about the costs of switching to the use of block grants to fund Medicaid. Block grants will likely result in the reduction of benefits and much more difficult standards in qualifying for Medical Assistance in Minnesota. Minnesota stands to lose $5 billion in federal funds by 2021, which would impact the 1 million Minnesotans who benefit from the program. Click here to read the full text of the article.

Are you interested in learning more about per capita caps and block grants? If you would like to know more about how changing the way Medicaid is funded would impact those who rely on the program, please click here for a summary of the issue.

Share your story!

Family members and caregivers of people with disabilities can share their stories of how Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act, Social Security, and/or Supplemental Security Income works for them and their family members by taking the Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports (FINDS) Survey. The results of this survey will be used to help facilitate discussions and policy changes at both the federal and state levels. The survey is sponsored by The Arc and the Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota. You can take the survey here.

Other resources

Our firm’s attorneys are members of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys which has developed a webpage on to provide context and help keep you informed about the ACA/Medicaid Reform updates. To learn more about the status of the reforms, click here. Our firm is also a member of the Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (MN CCD) which is an organization that has coordinated state efforts to oppose federal Medicaid reform. On March 14, 2017 the MN CCD sent a letter to the members of the Minnesota congressional delegation in opposition to the reform efforts on behalf of over 100 of Minnesota’s health care providers, health insurers, nonprofits, service organizations, and consumer and worker representatives. Click here to read the letter in its entirety.

To learn more about what Medicaid does and why it is important, check out the This Is Medicaid campaign on Twitter by clicking here.

We will continue to provide additional resources and information as it becomes available.

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