Today, members of the Senate are scheduled to begin voting on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (“Better Care Act”) of 2017. This is the Senate’s version of legislation modifying key parts of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) in response to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) passed by the House of Representatives in May.
The Senate is expected to consider several different versions of this legislation, and we are not sure what the final form of the bill will be—or if the Senate will be able to pass any of these versions. However, if the legislation does pass, it may impact critical provisions that our community relies upon.
These include significant cuts to Medicaid that could impact access to health care coverage and services, particularly for adults and low-income beneficiaries, and reduce benefits and services provided through Medicaid even for covered children and individuals. Beginning in 2021, Medicaid funding will be reduced, eliminating the expansion by 2024.
These also may include changes to regulatory protections, such as those that guarantee coverage to individuals with pre-existing conditions, including SMA.
Senators need to hear from you! Please contact your Senators TODAY and remind them to consider families and individuals affected by SMA when they debate and vote on the Better Care Act.
- Find your Senator online and contact his or her office.
- Not sure what to say? Here are suggested talking points for your Member of Congress:
My name is ___________ and I live in town/city/state.
- I/My child/family member [NAME] have/has spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). This is a neurological disease that robs people of physical strength by affecting the motor nerve cells in the spinal cord, taking away the ability to walk, eat, or breathe.
- I am calling to ask that Senator LAST NAME consider the needs of families and children like ours when debating legislative changes to the ACA under the Better Care Act.
- I urge Senator LAST NAME to work on a bipartisan basis to stabilize the market and create long-term solutions for the health care system.
- Please remember families and children with SMA when debating the Better Care Act – you may be saving a life!