Easterseals Statement on the Graham-Cassidy Health Care Reform Proposal

Statement by Katy Neas, former Easterseals Executive Vice President of Public Affairs, reacting to the health care reform proposal recently released by U.S. Senators Lindsey Graham and Bill Cassidy.

“Easterseals strongly opposes the Graham-Cassidy legislation for its Medicaid provision that will limit access to essential home and community-based services and supports for children and adults with disabilities. The Graham-Cassidy legislation (Sec. 124) removes the federal funding guarantee that currently exists in Medicaid and replaces it with a restrictive cap based on a funding formula rather than the actual needs of individuals with disabilities.

The Congressional Budget Office examined the Medicaid per capita cap proposal and concluded that capping federal Medicaid funding will force states to eliminate optional home and community-based services, restrict eligibility, or cut provider rates—unless new state resources are added to make up the funding shortfall left by a Medicaid cap. The troubling Graham-Cassidy Medicaid cap proposal will make it much harder for a child or adult with disabilities to access the Medicaid services they need to maintain their health and independence.

Easterseals urges the Senate to reject the Graham-Cassidy legislation for its harmful provision to cap, cut and restrict access to needed Medicaid home and community services. Instead, Easterseals urges the Senate to continue the bipartisan health care reform work being led by Senators Alexander and Murray to help stabilize health care markets and to improve access to and affordable coverage of quality health care.”

For nearly 100 years, Easterseals has been an indispensable resource for people with disabilities and their families. Through a network of 73 affiliates across the country, Easterseals exists to provide high quality services and opportunities to more than one million people so they can live, learn, work and play in their communities.

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