July 18, 2011

The Arc's Excellent Suggestions to Help Preserve Medicaid - Things You Can Do Right Now!

Federal Medicaid Cuts: The Clock is Ticking!!!

As you may already be aware, The Arc recently launched the "Don't Cut Our Lifeline!" campaign to protect Medicaid. Medicaid provides vital funding for health insurance, assistance with living in the community, respite services, and help with daily living for most people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Drastic cuts to Medicaid are being proposed as a bargaining chip in political negotiations over a deal to raise the federal debt limit. The deadline for politicians to make this deal is now upon us. The clock is ticking - louder each day as we approach the August 2nd date when the country could begin defaulting on its financial obligations.

There is no time left to wait! We are writing to urge you to act now to tell Congress and the President that significant cuts to Medicaid are unacceptable. Our Campaign Toolkit provides you with action steps, background information and talking points. Not sure how to have an impact? It doesn't take much to make your voice heard!

  • If you have only one minute, send the President and Vice President a message.
  • If you have five minutes, call your Senators and Member of Congress.
  • If you have thirty minutes, write a letter to the editor of your newspaper. Sharing your personal story about how Medicaid is your lifeline to health care and long term services and supports will help people understand why we must maintain the program.
  • If you have two hours, make an appointment with your Member of Congress (or their staff) to discuss what Medicaid means to you. Tell the scheduler that you know that budget cuts could come up for a vote any day now, and you want your voice to be heard! The toolkit provides you with fact sheets and talking points to prepare for such a meeting.

Advocates cannot assume that any official is on our side on this issue - especially one this critical. We don't want to be surprised after an important vote to discover that a Member did not make the connection to disability issues, or had another competing concern, which caused him/her to vote for cutting Medicaid for people with disabilities. The current threats to Medicaid are too important to count on past encounters or assumptions! You may be the constituent who opens up your legislator's thinking and, if not fully change their mind, perhaps soften a previously hard line on this issue.

Thank you for all that you do to protect Medicaid and the people who rely on it!

Dee Dee Eberle and Ralph Scott
The Arc of the United States

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