Protect the Lifeline
UPDATE - December 26, 2017 - The Arc Responds to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act
This year, the disability rights community has endured ongoing Congressional attacks that could have jeopardized the health and well-being of individuals with I/DD. And now, thanks to the enormous revenue losses that will be created by the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, we must prepare to protect critical programs like Medicaid — which will likely be on the chopping block in 2018. The bill has passed in both chambers, and was signed into law by the President. This bill will not change the resolve of The Arc’s network. Join our fight in 2018 as we continue to remain active in our opposition to attacks on the basic rights and health of people with disabilities and their families.
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The Arc of New Jersey and The Arc of Essex County participated in a press conference with Senator Bob Menendez in June to highlight the threats to Medicaid in the Senate’s version of the American Health Care Act. Eileen Stuart, whose daughter Laurie has lived in an Arc Essex group home for more than 20 years, told the Senator that Laurie has complex medical needs, including seizures, and that she will always require long-term supports and services. She explained that Laurie can’t afford to lose the supports she receives or the home she shares with other individuals with I/DD, and that she worries about what will happen to Laurie after she’s gone if Medicaid is slashed the way the Senate is proposing. She also told the Senator that it’s only because of Medicaid that Laurie is able to live an integrated life in the community. Following the event, Eileen spoke to multiple reporters about the importance of Medicaid and the impact per capita caps and related cuts would have on her daughter and thousands like her with I/DD living in New Jersey.
About this Issue:
- Medicaid, the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI), Social Security, Medicare and civil rights laws like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are lifelines for people with I/DD and their families, providing benefits, supports, and civil rights protections that help make community living possible.
- In 2017, The Arc calls on all advocates to join us in reaching out to the President and Congress to educate them on the importance of these lifelines and to urge them to preserve – not cut -- these essential programs and civil rights laws.
- These federal programs provide the key to community living and inclusion for people with I/DD across the nation. Now more than ever, we must join together as a collective movement to ensure that our lifeline programs and civil rights are protected.