The ongoing debate in Congress on Medicaid puts the future of so many individuals and families at stake. This morning I heard a member of Congress say that it is time for Washington to take a “hit” by getting Medicaid under control. The real truth is, if Medicaid is block granted or across the board cut are made it will not be Washington that takes a hit. The hit will be taken by real families and people with disabilities who will lose their life line to critical services and supports.
The Arc is working hard to put a face to how changes in Medicaid will in fact impact real people. Your voice must be heard.
Mike Carney, Executive Director of KCARC, local chapter of The Arc in Knox County, recently brought self-advocate Ron Devine and his sister Kristy Harting to DC to meet with their congressional delegation as part of a growing effort to make sure congress knows this issue is not just a theoretical discussion but something that affects real people who live in their districts.
Today four families join The Arc’s CEO Peter Berns and Public Policy Director Marty Ford in a meeting with key staff at the White House to share how Medicaid cuts would affect their families – an important discussion and opportunity as President Obama and Congress continue deficit reduction negotiations.
You can do the same thing without traveling to DC.
Call your Senators or Member of the House of Representatives
Call the Capitol Switchboard to reach your Members of Congress: 202-224-3121
Sign Up for The Arc’s Action Alerts
Act quickly when you receive them!
Make an Appointment with your Elected Officials
Call your elected officials for an appointment to discuss what Medicaid means to you. Find out when your Member of the House of Representatives will be home from Washington, and call his or her district office to make an appointment. Stress with the scheduler that you know that budget cuts could come up for a vote this summer, and you want your voice to be heard!
Attend a Town Hall Meeting
When Members of Congress are back in their districts, they often hold town hall meetings. Call their district offices to find out when the next meeting is so that you can attend and share your story directly with your Representative.
Invite your U.S. Senators and Representative to your local chapter of The Arc
Invite them to join you at places or events where they will be able to meet with people with disabilities who depend heavily on Medicaid. For example, invite them to a supported housing setting or apartment supported by your chapter(s). Seeing firsthand the people who depend on Medicaid-funded long-term services and supports can have a powerful effect on Members of Congress and can help to dispel many of the unfortunate misperceptions about the program (for example, that it serves people who don’t really need it). If possible, invite them to a chapter event that’s happening during the recess where they may meet and talk with people who depend on Medicaid for services.
Write a Letter to the Editor
Local newspapers will print letters from local residents on timely topics. 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.
Use Social Media to Spread the Word
Facebook and Twitter are often the first source of news for your friends and family. Use your online network to ask them to get involved in this fight!
Learn More: “Don’t Cut Our Lifeline Medicaid Tool Kit”
But most important – Make Your Voice Heard - Now!