NAHC - National Association for Home Care & Hospice

06/19/2017 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/19/2017 15:15

NAHC Meets with Senators to Defend Home Care

NAHC Meets with Senators to Defend Home Care

June 19, 2017 03:52 PM

The National Association for Home Care & Hospice (NAHC) met with Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR) and Debbie Stabenow (D-MN) on June 14 to discuss how to fight back against the current push in Congress to make severe cuts to Medicaid that will negatively affect millions of home care and hospice patients and the agencies that serve them.

While the exact content of NAHC's discussion with Senators Wyden and Stabenow, both key members of the Senate Finance Committee, cannot be revealed, the Senators and their staff gave their perspective on how the Medicaid cuts might occur, and what that would mean to Americans in their states and across the country. NAHC staff gave insight on how a per capita Cap model of Medicaid would impact home care and hospice. They also discussed the Community First Choice Program, and the positive effects it has had on properly rebalancing long-term care towards home care.

It is imperative our members speak to their own congressional representation and let them know what the proposed cuts would mean to their patients, and their businesses. The Senators emphasized the difference constituents can make in the legislative process by simply voicing their opinion and what proposed legislation will mean to their daily lives.

Last week, NAHC sent a letter to the Senate urging Senators to protect access to home care in any health care legislation, but NAHC is asking everyone in the home care and hospice community to contact their members of Congress and ask them to oppose legislation containing Medicaid per capita caps, which was a part of the House-passed bill and appears to be a part of the tightly-guarded bill proceeding in the Senate.

The Republican Senators considered among the most likely to vote against the emerging bill are from Alaska, Arizona, Kentucky, Maine, Nevada, and West Virginia. (In the case of Kentucky, Republican Rand Paul may oppose the legislation because it does not fully repeal the Affordable Care Act.)

It is vital for NAHC members to send a high volume of email messages to their Senators expressing that great harm will come with the Medicaid reforms under consideration. The more messages Senate offices receive urging the rejection of Medicaid cuts and per capita caps, the more likely it is that Senators will indeed reject those proposals in any legislation.

It is also critical that matters of such importance should not proceed with out full public airings and congressional hearings, rather than the extreme form of secrecy we are seeing in the Senate right now.

NAHC urges everyone in the home care and hospice community to go to send these messages to their Senators as soon as possible. Every person who cares about home care - from managers to nurses to support staff to patients and patients' families - can and should be a part of this effort. With ONE CLICK, you can send this message to Senators through NAHC's Virtual Lobby Page. GO HERE to tell Senators to reject Medicaid cuts - it literally takes only moments and those moments could make a huge difference for the millions of Americans who depend on home care and hospice.