Victory! House halts ACA repeal – because of YOU!

Victory! House halts ACA repeal – because of YOU!

You called, you e-mailed, you rallied.

They said we couldn’t stop Congress from repealing the Affordable Care Act, but you showed up anyway.

And today, you WON.

As you may have heard, the U.S. House of Representatives just pulled the “American Health Care Act,” their bill to gut the Affordable Care Act and slash funding for Medicaid. They canceled the planned vote because they did not have enough support to pass the bill.

This is a huge victory for every person who believes in access to health care, and for the 24 million Americans who would have lost their health insurance under this bill. And it is proof that the voice of grassroots supporters like you can make a difference.

Since the Affordable Care Act was signed into law – seven years and one day ago – the U.S. has made tremendous strides in improving access to health care. Insurance levels are at the highest level ever. People are no longer charged unfair rates because they have a pre-existing condition, or because they are women. Insurance now has to cover more of the services we need.

In the years since the ACA took effect, Missouri Health Care for All has spoken with hundreds of Missourians, coming from every part of the state, who have benefitted from the Affordable Care Act. Women have received treatment for breast cancer. Young adults have gotten coverage. People battling addiction have been able to access treatment. Families have avoided medical bankruptcy.

This dangerous bill was halted by a deep groundswell of opposition from people across the country. Here in Missouri, thousands of people have called and e-mailed their members of Congress. Just this week, more than 350 Missourians attended 14 rallies across the state. The message from these supporters was clear and loud: Congress should abandon attempts to gut the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid.

Today is a good day for Missouri and the U.S. We look forward to working with elected officials to build upon the gains we have made toward making health care affordable and accessible for every person.

This weekend, take some time to celebrate a hard-won victory that will save lives in every part of this country.

But don’t go away – our work isn’t done yet. We expect further attacks on health care from both Congress and the Missouri Legislature. And, we still need to fix the real holes in our health care system, such as the Coverage Gap that leaves 300,000 Missourians without health care.

We’re in this for the long haul, and are grateful to have you with us. We’ll be in touch next week about next steps.

Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, for being part of this movement.


Posted by MHCFA in Federal Updates, MHCFA Blog, 0 comments
Nixon approves measure to raise asset limits

Nixon approves measure to raise asset limits

Nixon approves measure to raise asset limits

Via our partners and disability advocates at Paraquad

Please note this blog was originally created and posted by Paraquad, read the original post here:

June 9, 2016

Gov. Jay NixonBy KEVIN CONDONGov. Jay Nixon, D-Mo., on Thursday signed into law House Bill 1565, which updates an asset limit measure that is more than 40 years old and allows people with disabilities to retain Medicaid benefits and save for unexpected expenses.

The bill, which Nixon signed at Paraquad, increases the amount of money that people receiving Medicaid coverage can claim as assets. Starting in 2018, the dollar amount increases to $2,000 (from $1,000) for an individual, and to $4,000 (from $2,000) for a couple. Each following year, until 2022, the amounts will increase by $1,000, reaching $5,000 for an individual and $10,000 for a couple. Annual increases after 2022 will be tied to cost of living adjustments.

Missouri began participating in the Medicaid program in the late 1960s.

“This legislation is long overdue and it helps to correct a flaw in the system,” said Rep. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, the bill’s sponsor. “By raising the asset limits, we are removing a significant disincentive for the elderly and people with disabilities to be prepared for expenses they may incur.”

Aimee Wehmeier, President and CEO of Paraquad, explained how low asset limits in Missouri have historically compelled people with significant disabilities to make difficult decisions.

“Essentially, we had to choose between saving money and accessing necessary disability-related supports and services,” Wehmeier said. “In the past, being fiscally responsible and saving money meant losing Medicaid benefits, including health care, personal care services and reimbursements for durable medical equipment.”

Many people with significant disabilities utilize personal care services to help get out bed, prepare for work, cook meals and complete household tasks.

“Without these vital services, we would not be able to work or live independently,” Wehmeier said. “And without the ability to save money, we are not prepared for future health needs or personal emergencies.”

Seeing HB 1565 through to signing was a top priority for Paraquad and its allies and advocates around the state, according to Cathy Brown, Paraquad’s Director of Public Policy and Advocacy.

“People with disabilities are twice as likely to live in poverty as any other minority population,” said Brown. “When a person with a disability needs access to services that are only available publicly, he or she must often times get — and stay — as poor as possible for as long as possible. Our system inadvertently creates dependence instead of maximizing the independence of beneficiaries. Changes like the asset limit increase move us closer toward a system that encourages maximum economic self-sufficiency.”

Brown described the signing of HB 1566 as a big win for the disability community.

“It addresses a key barrier to economic self-sufficiency. People want to build a better future for themselves and reduce reliance on government programs and charity. Ensuring people have the capacity to save more of their own money to meet financial obligations helps them do that,” said Brown. “We thank Governor Nixon, Representative Engler and all of the legislators who saw the many benefits of allowing working Missourians to increase their savings while still being able to access necessary services.”

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About Paraquad: Founded in 1970, Paraquad is the leading disability services provider in the St. Louis region. One of the oldest Centers for Independent Living in the country, Paraquad’s mission is to empower people with disabilities to increase their independence through choice and opportunity. A key focus is to make St. Louis more accessible for all people by advocating, building awareness and delivering comprehensive services.

Kevin Condon
(314) 289-4348 or (314) 805-1556

Jacob Kuerth
(314) 289-4371 or (314) 957-8364

Posted by MHCFA in MHCFA Blog, State Updates, 0 comments