STUDY: REPUBLICAN PLAN WOULD CHOP MEDICAID BY $1.7 TRILLION

By PHIL GALEWITZ, KAISER HEALTH NEWS
October 25, 2012

The House Republican plan to repeal President Barack Obama’s health law and turn Medicaid into a block grant program would save the federal government $1.7 trillion from 2013 to 2022, a 38-percent spending reduction,according to a report this week by the Urban Institute for the Kaiser Family Foundation.

 

It would also result in 31 million to 38 million fewer people getting  Medicaid coverage in 2022, according to the report. The entitlement program, which is jointly financed by the state and federal governments, now provides health coverage to about 62 million poor people, about half of whom are children.

THIS MIGHT HURT A LITTLE BIT

The block grant idea — paying a fixed sum to states — was formulated by Rep. Paul Ryan, Mitt Romney’s vice presidential running mate and chair of the House Budget committee, and passed by the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in 2011 and 2012. The strategy is part of the GOP plan to cut the nation’s $1 trillion federal deficit.

 

Romney backs a similar Medicaid block grant strategy that would cut $100 billion a year from Medicaid starting in 2013. Under Romney’s plan, federal payments to the states for Medicaid would grow at 1 percentage point a year above the Consumer Price Index. That would slow funding increases, but give states greater freedom in how they use the money, including the ability to cut eligibility or benefits to meet their budget needs. Today, the federal government sets minimum rules and guidelines and must approve any major changes to the program.

 

The Urban Institute analysis, which updates an analysis originally done in May 2011, said the House block grant plan would cut funding to hospitals by as much as $363.8 billion, and payments to nursing homes by $22.2 billion.

DISABLED FOLKS ARE LIABLE TO BE HURT THE MOST

Of the $1.7 trillion cut to Medicaid spending, $932 billion of the reductions come from repealing the Medicaid expansion in Obama’s health law and $810 billion is a result of spending cuts that are part of the block grant.

 

Under the health law, Medicaid would expand to cover as many as 17 million more people starting in 2014. States have the option to decide whether to expand eligibility, and several Republican-led states including Florida and Texas say they can’t afford the expansion.

 

This article was reprinted from kaiserhealthnews.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

 

To read the article source, click here:
http://www.disabilityscoop.com/2012/10/25/study-republican-chop-medicaid/16733/

Another source of information:  http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2012/08/is-medicaid-doomed-how-ryans-plan-would-affect-americas-very-poorest/261070

Judge Extends Block to IHSS Cuts

As reported in the Sacramento Bee, a federal judge on Thursday (1/19/12) continued to block the state from reducing in-home care to low-income disabled and elderly residents, a budget cut pursued last year by Gov. Jerry Brown and lawmakers.

The reduction would have slashed one-fifth of service hours for In-Home Supportive Services recipients to save the state $100 million over the next six months.

U.S. District Court Judge Claudia Wilken converted her temporary December order blocking the state into a preliminary injunction.

Last month, Wilken said the IHSS cut “raises serious questions” about whether the state had violated several federal laws, including those protecting people with disabilities.

The full story can be read at:

http://www.sacbee.com/2012/01/20/4201434/federal-judge-blocks-budget-cuts.html

Additional details are available in a press release from Disability Rights California

Rally Against More Cuts

Services for disadvantaged citizens have already been cut to the bone.  Join us to protect vital services.  Your well-being depends on it.  Federal magistrate Wilkens has prevented a 20% cut in IHSS because that would force people from their homes into nursing homes.  Governor Brown wants to cut more next year.   Child care support for people looking to get off welfare is threatened.  Senior nutrition support is threatened. Join us.  We need you & you need us to protect your services.

Wednesday January 18, Noon on the South steps of the Capitol.  Transportation will be provided by ILSNC, 1161 East Ave.  Leave Chico at 9:30 sharp.

Click on this link to view the flyer.

01 18 12 Sac State of the 99% Flyer 1

Rally Against the Trigger Cuts POSTPONED!

The rally against unfair and inhumane state budget cuts to health & human services HAS BEEN POSTPONED UNTIL (most likely) JANUARY 18.  This new date will coincide with Governor Brown’s “State of the State” Speech, which we anticipate to be January 18.  WE WILL MAKE A DEFINITIVE ANNOUNCEMENT VERY SOON.  In the meantime, please call the office at 893-8527, #130 for additional information.  Please make plans to join us at the Capitol – together we can make a difference.  Rides will be available. 

BEWARE OF THE WOLVES

WOLVES SIGHTED IN CALIFORNIA

Tis the season for celebration of various holidays throughout the world.  On Sunday, many of us will stop to celebrate Christmas.  We hope that this season finds you healthy and reasonably happy.  We offer for your enjoyment and edification this cartoon from Tom Meyer, which appeared in the Sacramento Bee on Dec. 20.

Wolves Return to California

Reprinted by kind permission of the artist (http://www.meyertoons.com)

Congratulations to Linda Furr, recipient of the 2011 Peace Endeavor Award presented by the Chico Peace and Justice Center.

Congratulations to Linda Furr – recipient of the 2011 Peace Endeavor Award presented by the Chico Peace and Justice Center on October 20, 2011. Linda is a tireless – and joyful – activist for too many causes to list here, but all falling under the banner of peace and social justice. We at ILSNC deeply appreciate her contributions to the Northern California State Budget Alliance as we work to preserve vital, lifeline programs and services for people with disabilities in California. Thank you, Linda, for all that you do.  For more information on the Chico Peace and Justice Center, visit: www.chico-peace.org

Join the Occupy Movement

We need to be a visible presence at the OccupyChico camp.  The disability rights movement has historically been part of broader social justice issues going back to the 1960’s.  We have been an integral aspect of the historical civil rights campaigns.  With the birth and growth of the Occupy movement, we have an opportunity to embed ourselves into this new movement.  To do so will give us the chance to secure additional rights to employment, housing, living assistance and other necessities of dignified living.

Local activists want change, too.

It seems as though many consumers and service providers are feeling beaten down and depressed after years of fighting the cuts in services from the State of California.  It has been said that activism is the best cure for depression and feelings of powerlessness. Instead of fighting losing battles over the budget cuts all by ourselves, now is the chance to engage in the Occupy movement to secure new allies in the struggle to save our lifeline programs and services.   See you at the encampment.  General assemblies are held at 7 PM nightly on the sidewalk near 4th St along Broadway.

In other cities, disabled people have been active in their Occupy encampments and marches.  ILSNC participated in a conference call this week to learn about the involvement of disabled activists in the Occupy movement in other cities.  We heard from activists in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Oakland and San Francisco.  In those cities, disabled people have taken leadership roles.

Evan LeVang and others from ILSNC have been marching on Saturdays in support of the OccupyChico encampment.  Included is a picture taken at last week’s march downtown.  Our numbers are growing locally, nationally and everywhere else.

The movement needs you and you need the movement.  Join us this Saturday at Noon at the Hands sculpture (4th & Wall St) for a march and rally.

Ongoing Occupation Needs You!

This Saturday, October 15, the next large rally is planned in support of OccupyChico. So far, the disability community has been largely absent from the rallies and ongoing occupation. This is the issue of our time. We absolutely need to be part of the effort.

Occupy Chico gets vocal at 2nd & Broadway 10-5-11

ILSNC director, Evan LeVang, sees hope in the Occupy Movement for re-activating the long-dormant disability community.  “Over the past few years it has become clear that – despite our best efforts at community organizing – too many members of the disability community simply don’t participate in the effort to save disability programs from budget-cutting state legislators.  Sadly, as threatened and actual program cuts have become more severe over the past few years, our local disability community has  actually become less active and less visable.  People tell me that they feel exhausted, beaten-down and powerless in the face of unrelenting cuts made by legislators unwilling to consider alternatives to gutting social programs in order to balance the state budget.  But people need to understand that it’s going to get much worse – and happen very soon – if we don’t start taking action and getting involved.  In the current state budget agreement there are “trigger cuts” to programs like In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS) set to take place in December if certain tax revenue levels are not met.  We could be looking at a  20% cut in IHSS services if we simply sit back and hope for the best.  This would be a catastrophic disruption in people’s lives,” says LeVang.

He continues, “IHSS is just one of several programs that people with disabilities depend on that are facing deep cuts.  But rather than becoming despondent about our prospects for the future, we now have a reason for hope – an incredible opportunity to re-engage and push back – through the emerging “Occupy” movement.   I’m calling upon people with disabilities, our families, friends and allies to show up to lend your presence and your support to the Occupy Chico, Occupy Redding or Occupy wherever this Saturday, October 15.”

We must all get out front and center to ensure our visibility. If we fail to show up, we risk being forgotten in all the commotion. Only by showing up frequently and verbalizing our issues will we have the chance to be part of the change we need. This is far more effective than begging legislators for mercy. See you at the  Occupation!

For more information, visit OccupyChico on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/occupychico/