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NATIONAL COUNCIL ON INDEPENDENT LIVING

Informational Alert: Budget Reconciliation Package with radical Medicaid changes STALLED last week thanks to your efforts! Keep Up the Pressure!!!

NCIL is pleased to report that thanks to your efforts and the work of our allies, the House Majority leadership has had to postpone consideration of their budget reconciliation package! A vote had previously been scheduled for last Thursday, November 10, 2005. However, Moderate Republicans have resisted pressure from the leadership to support these drastic alterations and funding reductions to the Medicaid program. In many cases, their opposition was strengthened because their constituents had emphasized how the proposals to increase (and enforce) cost sharing and to eliminate procedural protections that the House is considering would harm beneficiaries with disabilities and worsen the institutional bias in the Medicaid program. Thanks to your efforts, NCIL has also heard back from some Congressional offices that are growing increasingly interested in supporting Money Follows the Person.

We MUST keep up the pressure! A vote on the House Budget Reconciliation Package is likely to take place before Congress recesses for Thanksgiving - which we anticipate will happen by the end of THIS WEEK. Furthermore, House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) told Congressional Quarterly that despite objections from Republican moderates, he anticipates that the Medicaid provisions will emerge from negotiations "basically intact." If this is true, then we have no choice but to redouble our efforts in opposition to the House Budget Reconciliation package. Continue calling and e-mailing your Representatives to reinforce that you expect them to protect Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities by standing firm against a bad budget bill!!!

MESSAGE: Our clear and unequivocal message is: 1) NCIL urges a "NO" vote on the House Budget Reconciliation package and any budget package that would hurt Medicaid beneficiaries with disabilities and 2) NCIL urges House Republicans to reject Section 3131 and instead support Money Follows the Person [HR 3063].

NEXT STEPS:For the latest on the budget debate, see an article from The Hill, which identifies many of the crucial swing votes on budget reconciliation at http://www.thehill.com/thehill/export/TheHill/News/Frontpage/111505/news4.html. We are awaiting updated details on the budget reconciliation package and will provide an update as soon as possible. Watch your e-mail for updates!

REMINDER ON HOME AND COMMUNITY BASED SERVICES:
Supporters of the House Budget Reconciliation Bill may tell advocates that Section 3131 will expand Home and Community Based Services. Do NOT believe these claims. Disability advocacy groups were NOT consulted in the development of Section 3131 and it does more harm than good.

Actions speak louder than words: Tell your Representatives that if Congress really supports home-and-community-based services they need to work to pass Money Follows the Person [HR 3063] without further delay!!!

If you need more information on Money Follows the Person, please consult NCIL's October 26, 2005 action alert or e-mail Daniel Davis at daniel@ncil.org.

Report how your calls go: Please e-mail Health Care-PASS Subcommittee Co-chairs Judy Roy at bhamilc@bellsouth.net and Stan Holbrook at sholbrook@trcil.org and NCIL Acting Director of Advocacy and Public Policy Daniel Davis at daniel@ncil.org to let us know how your representatives respond.

Thanks in advance for your continued determined advocacy!