National Healthcare Reform and individuals with special needs

May 12, 2009 Kyron No Comments

I was pleased to receive notice about a speech an amazing woman, Julie Beckett, gave recently to a group in Madison, WI (I am so going to have to get up there someday with the excuse of visiting my brother)

Julie is mother to Katie, who contracted viral encephalitis when she was 6 months old. The virus caused katiejulie National Healthcare Reform and individuals with special needssevere damage to her body, including her ability to breathe. She was placed on a ventilator and spent three years at a pediatric intensive care unit. Created in 1982, the home and community-based waiver program often called the Katie Beckett Waiver program, allows children who would otherwise be hospitalized or institutionalized to get treated at home and continue to maintain Medicaid eligibility. Katie was the first recipient of this waiver. Her mother, Julie Beckett, worked with Congress to obtain this waiver.

In her keynote, Julie shared the timeline for the national healthcare reform legislation:

May 20: bill will be introduced
Aug 22: they hope to pass it
Jan 2010: they hope to have it in place

Julie shared that they are moving very quickly to get this reform in place and that the current draft of the bill does NOT include provisions for individuals with disabilities; it basically treats everyone the same whether they have special needs or not.
She emphasized that her decades of advocacy work have taught her that even worse than being uninsured is being *under-insured*–and that we need to make sure that people with special health care needs are included in this bill.

Katie and Julie Beckett asked us to participate in the phone-calling efforts to change the bill to include provisions for individuals with special health care needs.  We can’t leave individuals with special health care needs behind as we “move forward.”
Tomorrow, May 13
th is the national call-in day for this issue
.   Please see the instructions below from the ARC & UCP on how to help tomorrow.

It’s easy to do and so important.  Please share this and thank you very much for your help!

The Arc and UCP Needed to Make Calls to Senators on May 13th

Fixing the health care system is a top priority this year for Congress and the Obama Administration.   While there is commitment by some to include long-term supports and services in health care reform, there is no guarantee that this will happen without strong public support.

The Arc and UCP are working with several national disability and aging organizations in sponsoring national phone-in days to show public backing for including long-term supports and services in health care reform. We must establish this public support with Congress. We want this joint effort to generate at least 10,000 phone calls to the Senate on May 13th.

Toll Free Number: 866-459-9232

What to say:

  • Hello, my name is ____ and I live in ____.
  • I believe that health care reform must include long term services and supports.
  • I urge Senator ____ to support including long term services and support in health care reform.
  • This issue is so important to me because ___________________
  • Thank you.

The Coalition for Citizens with Disabilities is providing this toll-free number for constituents of member organizations to call their Senators.  We need to demonstrate a strong response from The Arc and UCP, your members, and your constituencies.

» Spread the word «

Dial the toll-free number between 8:00 AM and 6:00 PM Eastern and ask to be connected with your Senators. If the line is busy, try back later. Once you have completed the call, be sure to give feedback.

Background:
Why Include Long-Term Supports and Services
in Health Care Reform
While 48 million people lack insurance/coverage for their health care, 250 million people lack insurance/coverage for long-term services and supports. Ten million Americans daily need long-term services and supports with 40 percent of them under the age of 65. Nearly half of all funding for long-term services is provided through Medicaid that requires individuals to impoverish themselves to receive supports.

Virtually every American will face the need of a family member needing long-term services and supports. And yet, the nation lacks a comprehensive national system for financing and delivering long-term services and supports to individuals with disabilities of all ages.

While there is commitment by some Senators to include long-term supports and services in health care reform, there is no guarantee this will happen.

The Senate Finance and Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committees are are scheduled to finalize their legislative proposals for health care reform within the next two to three weeks. The bills are expected to be merged on the Senate floor in June. The three House committees are also developing their own legislation, but are not as far along as the Senate.

We must call on the Senate to provide real health security by including long-term services and supports in health care reform legislation!

Thanks to Johanna Mattern Allen, the ARC and UCP for this information

arc National Healthcare Reform and individuals with special needsucp National Healthcare Reform and individuals with special needs

© 2009 The Disability Policy Collaboration

Related posts:

  1. 25% of parents with Special Needs children have to significantly reduce hours or stop working
  2. Published Reports that make you go DUH

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