Disability rights advocates call on the California Congressional Delegation to preserve critical parts of the Affordable Care Act

House votes on proposed ACA replacement bill
Press Release

(Sacramento, CA – March 22, 2017) Disability Rights California (DRC) and the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) today called on the California congressional delegation to preserve access to Medicaid services (Medi-Cal in CA). The plea comes on the eve of the House’s March 23 vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA).  

“The rush to approve the AHCA, without sufficiently analyzing its impact, will further harm the people whose very lives depend on access to affordable and appropriate health care,” said Catherine Blakemore, executive director of Disability Rights California. 

The House is moving legislation that eliminates the Community First Choice Option (CFCO) by 2020. It is part of a strategy to cut Medicaid funding for people with disabilities. CFCO was introduced as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is an important Medicaid program that helps people with disabilities live in the community rather than in expensive nursing facilities. In California, CFCO saves the state millions of taxpayer dollars by providing additional federal funding for the In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) program.

“The proposal over time will not provide the state with enough funds to meet the health and long-term care needs of Californians with disabilities,” said Teresa Favuzzi, executive director of California Foundation for Independent Living Centers. “It may force California to cut health care, restrict eligibility, or create waitlists to cover the loss of federal funding.”

Disability rights advocates are concerned that capping or block granting Medicaid would set limits on how many people with disabilities can move from institutions into the community or remain safely in their homes. Eliminating CFCO would roll back the progress states have made in enabling people with disabilities to live and receive services at home and in their communities, rather than in institutions.

The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers is a non-profit disability advocacy organization focused on increasing access and equal opportunity for people with disabilities by building the capacity of Independent Living Centers.  Check out our website: http://cfilc.org, Facebook @CFILC.org, and Twitter @_CFILC.