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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Healthcare Update: CBO Score Released – Take Action Over the Memorial Day Recess!

Earlier this week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released their score (PDF) of the updated version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA) that passed the House earlier this month. Unsurprisingly, it estimates that the bill would still cut over $800 billion from Medicaid. In addition, 23 million fewer people would have access to health insurance than under the current law.

35th Anniversary Logo: NCIL – National Council on Independent Living. Celebrating 35 Years of Advocacy. Graphic features party candles.We have long understood that this is a dangerous bill for people with disabilities. It would slash Medicaid funding, eliminate the enhanced Federal funding for the Community First Choice Option, increase healthcare costs for people with disabilities, and decrease access to coverage (see more in our May 5 and May 2 Action Alerts). These changes mean fewer home and community-based services (HCBS), higher premiums, and more out-of-pocket costs. For some people with disabilities, they mean being forced into institutions, or even death.

Take Action Over the Memorial Day Recess!

The House failed the disability community when they passed the AHCA. But, healthcare reform now lies with the Senate, and Republican leaders and staff will be working on a draft of their healthcare bill over the recess. It’s important that they hear from their constituents with disabilities when they are back at home for recess next week (May 29-June 2)! Even though the AHCA passed through the House, it was a very close vote, and we know that every Republican “no” vote was a result of the advocacy efforts going on around the country. We need to keep up the pressure to make sure our Senators know why the disability community opposes the AHCA!

Individuals: Meet With Your Senators!

Now is the time to get some more face-to-face time with your Senators. Make an appointment with your Senators while they’re at home so you can voice your concerns in person. Tell them the many ways that the AHCA will hurt people with disabilities. In addition to meeting with your Senators, make sure to call them, Tweet them, attend Town Halls (visit and protests, and take every opportunity you’re able to educate your Senators on the dangers ACA repeal and Medicaid per capita caps pose to us!

CILs: Invite Your Senators to Visit Your Center!

Inviting your members of Congress to visit your Center for Independent Living is a great way for them to learn about the vital work CILs do in their communities and hear directly from their constituents with disabilities. Contact your Senators now and invite them to visit your CIL during the upcoming recess! Make sure to coordinate with staff and consumers to ensure that your members of Congress are able to speak directly with some of their constituents who can speak to how ACA repeal and Medicaid per capita caps will impact their access to healthcare, their ability to work or live independently, and their freedom to live in their community. People with disabilities have the most to lose from ACA repeal and Medicaid cuts, and we need Congress to understand how harmful the proposed changes will be. Also, while they’re visiting, make sure to talk about funding for the Independent Living Program, because FY 2018 appropriations are just around the corner! Please see our recent budget alert for more information on the cuts the President’s budget proposes for Independent Living.


  1. Darrell Price says

    I’ve been trying to communicate with Senator Portman staff in a civil Manner and a communication has totally shut down. They’ve refused to answer points that I’ve submitted from CCD and other groups. He’s definitely not doing any meetings and I’ve been forced to try to schedule a meeting with his local staff as if that’s actually going to change anything period still I’m going to try