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for the Blind

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American Health Care Act Passes House: Learn How It May Impact People with Disabilities

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The House of Representatives narrowly passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA) today, 217-213. The bill will now go to the Senate.

The New York Times reports that provisions of the plan would cut Medicaid by $880 billion, or 25 percent, over 10 years and impose a “per-capita cap” on funding for certain groups of people, such as children and the elderly—a change that would convert Medicaid from an entitlement designed to cover any costs incurred to a more limited program.

The New York Times also reported on A Little-Noticed Target in the House Health Bill: Special Education. States would no longer have to consider schools eligible Medicaid providers, meaning they would not be entitled to reimbursements for special education services and equipment their students need:

"For nearly 30 years, Medicaid has helped school systems cover costs for special education services and equipment, from physical therapists to feeding tubes. The money is also used to provide preventive care, such as vision and hearing screenings, for other Medicaid-eligible children."

"...AASA, an advocacy association for school superintendents, estimates that school districts receive about $4 billion in Medicaid reimbursements annually. In a January survey of nearly 1,000 district officials in 42 states, nearly 70 percent of districts reported that they used the money to pay the salaries of health care professionals who serve special education students."

The American Foundation for the Blind stands opposed to cuts to Medicaid, and rollbacks of protections for people with pre-existing conditions, including disabilities. Call your senators today to urge them to vote no on the AHCA.

You can get the latest information about the AHCA's impact on people with disabilities at Keep making your voices heard.

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