Georgians with disabilities, together with agencies, organizations and nonprofits who serve them, have launched the No Cuts! No Caps! campaign to bring to attention to the $834 billion cuts to Medicaid in the House-passed American Health Care Act and being considered by the Senate.
One in five Georgians depend on Medicaid services as the agency provides approximately 400,000 people with disabilities in Georgia with access to critical care that helps them live, work and participate in their communities. This includes personal care services, specialized therapies, mental health services, special education services, respite care and employment supports.
“People with disabilities are contributing members of our community, and the proposed Medicaid cuts will be devastating not only to the disability community, but to the State of Georgia,” said Eric Jacobson, executive director of the Georgia Council on Developmental Disabilities (GCDD). GCDD is leading the Georgia #SaveMedicaid campaign.
The AHCA proposes to drastically cut federal Medicaid to states, including through “per capita caps.” Georgia will be disproportionally hurt by such caps because of the state’s low Medicaid spending. The state is 50th in Medicaid spending on people with disabilities combined with it having one of the highest federal match rates – 68.5 percent of all of Georgia’s Medicaid costs are paid by the federal government.
The loss of billions of dollars in federal Medicaid funding could lead to service reductions, longer waitlists, and cuts in provider reimbursement rates. Home and community based services (HCBS) are most at risk because they are optional.
The campaign hopes to bring attention to U.S. senators Johnny Isakson and David Perdue about the importance of Medicaid for Georgians with disabilities.
“It is important that our legislators, in Georgia and Washington, D.C., understand how cuts and caps to Medicaid under this proposed bill will negatively impact their constituents,” said Jacobson. “We aim to rally the Georgia community that relies on Medicaid to call the Senators and share their stories. Advocacy is the most important and effective way to get your voice heard.”