We have been following closely the efforts underway in the United States Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, and the time has come for us to make our concerns known. In his online article “These Kids Need Feeding Tubes And Breathing Machines,” News & Observer reporter, John Murawski, shines a much-needed spotlight on some of our community’s most vulnerable and most threatened citizens. Although TLC does not provide CAP/C Services, these children are the same children the Tammy Lynn Center for Developmental Disabilities (TLC) was founded to serve in 1969, and has been serving for more than 47 years. I want to share with you my concerns, and then ask for your help.
- The Bill would end Medicaid expansion, denying our state the option to provide 600,000 additional North Carolinians living at or below poverty level new access to Medicaid. Those effected may include not only prospective clients of TLC services, but even our own employees.
- Both the House and the Senate bills take away current Affordable Care Act (ACA) provisions that provide subsidies for people who cannot afford health care. These provisions would leave many low-income individuals – including families currently served by TLC – unable to purchase health insurance.
- The bill proposes “per capita caps” for Medicaid spending. Capping Medicaid expenditures severely limits our ability to support current Medicaid recipients, and potentially keeps us from serving any new children or adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities who move to our area. This year, 78% of the children and adults served by TLC use Medicaid to pay for our services.
- Inflationary increases in “per capita caps” are low, and would not keep up with historical levels of inflation for medical and other long term supports. This is especially true for children and adults with significant intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), whose cost and complexity of care are categorized as “high costs.” With capped Medicaid dollars and low inflationary increases, the current wait list for individuals with IDD (approximately 12,000 people waiting for services) will only increase. Additionally, agencies like TLC and other health care providers will be forced to compete for a shrinking pool of money instead of focusing on ways to have a truly integrated health care partnership that focuses on the whole care of the person.
YOU CAN HELP. Here’s how: Right now, the bill is in the Senate, which means we need you to let Senator Burr and Senator Tillis know how you feel about the consequences of passing this bill, especially as it effects those with the greatest needs and the least access to services. Please call, write or email each of our Senators, and add your voice to the growing chorus of voices that demand more consideration for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
- Senator Richard Burr
217 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
- Senator Thom Tillis
185 Dirksen Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
With sincere appreciate for your steadfast support,