On May 4, the House passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), a measure to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). This bill threatened to restructure California’s Medi-Cal program, cutting care and services for children and youth with special health care needs.
Although the AHCA did not pass the Senate as written, Republicans have been crafting their own version of a health care bill — the details of which are still unknown. It’s important that we continue our advocacy to ensure any kind of health care bill does not pass.
If passed, the legislation would most likely cause states to:
- stop covering certain children, such as those covered under waivers (e.g., autism waivers)
- cut or reduce school therapies for children with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs)
- stop covering certain services (e.g., private duty nursing, physical therapy, dental care)
- reduce the extent of services (e.g., number of therapy visits)
- reduce payments to health care providers, thus reducing access to care
The bill would also alter the ACA in ways that would:
- weaken or eliminate protections for people with pre-existing conditions, allowing insurance companies to charge them much more for coverage
- allow insurance companies to impose annual or lifetime coverage limits
- allow insurance companies to stop offering essential health benefits
- reduce subsidies to buy insurance and pay for health care
- phase out the ACA Medicaid expansion (i.e., Medicaid coverage for childless adults)
If you have friends or family living in the following key states, consider asking them to contact their own Senators (information on how to do so here): Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maine, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.
Who To Contact + Contact Information
U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein: 331 Hart Senate Office Building / Washington, DC 20510
Phone number: (202) 224-3841
Send an email by clicking here.
U.S. Senator Kamala Harris: 112 Hart Senate Office Building / Washington, DC 20510
Phone number: (202) 224-3553
Send an email by clicking here.
How To Contact + Resources
Send an Email or Letter
Use this template letter to easily explain why Medi-Cal matters. If your family doesn’t use Medi-Cal but you know someone who does, please use this template.
FVCA has also created a list of key Medi-Cal services commonly accessed by children with special health care needs, which can be found here. Reference this list to fill-in-the blanks of your email, letter, or phone script.
Make a Phone Call
Use this phone script if you’d like a framework for your message, and refer back to the list of key Medi-Cal services here, if needed. If your family doesn’t use Medi-Cal but you know someone who does, please use this phone script.
Use Social Media
Share the video “Family Stories: Medi-Cal is Critical for Children and Youth With Special Health Care Needs” on social media. Click here to re-tweet the video on Twitter. Also, use or search the hashtag #MedicaidMatters on social media to find stories and spread the word about how Medicaid/Medi-Cal is critical for children’s health.
Send a Text
Use ResistBot, a texting program that allows you to effortlessly contact your Representatives. You don’t have to download anything — just text ‘Resist’ to the number 50409 to get started.