On Thursday June 22, the United States Senate released a discussion draft of their health care reform bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act of 2017 (BCRA). While much of the healthcare reform discussion has been about fixing or repealing the Affordable Care Act (also known as Obamacare), the major provisions of the bill released yesterday relate to Medicaid. After careful analysis, AOTA is deeply concerned that BCRA would undermine the Medicaid program and put the millions of children and adults with serious disabilities, students receiving special education support services, people receiving home and community based services, individuals with mental health needs, those in nursing homes, and many others at grave risk of reduced or lost benefits.

BCRA would change Medicaid from a system where the federal government “matches” payments for all medically necessary services a state chooses to provide to beneficiaries, to one that provides states with a capped amount of money to spend for all beneficiaries. This will require hard choices by the states and inevitable cuts to Medicaid programs and services. Over time, the Federal government will pay less and less for Medicaid services and State Medicaid programs will have to make up the difference, or diminish services. As states are faced with difficult financial decisions they will have to reduce benefits such as rehabilitation benefits for adults and home and community based services, reduce reimbursement to providers, or find ways decrease or slow Medicaid enrollment. States may eventually be pressured to reduce services to children from the current broad mandate of Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnosis and Treatment services (EPSDT) which protects all children on Medicaid.

From early intervention and schools, to skilled nursing facilities, to community mental health programs these proposed changes will negatively affect occupational therapy practitioners and the people who are in need of our services. We urge you to call your Senate offices today (yes, even on the weekend!) and ask that they reject these dramatic changes to Medicaid.
AOTA’s legislative action center will walk you through the steps. You can call or write, but you need to take action before next week’s vote.
Sincerely,

Heather Parsons
Director of Federal Affairs
The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.

PLAN TO ATTEND IN THE FALL!

The WVOTA Annual Conference

This 2-day Fall conference is your up-close and personal opportunity to learn how WVOTA and AOTA are working to safeguard and advance your OT practice! Earn contact hours, network, and gain free $ towards NBCOT. Food and drinks provided!

Connect with WVOTA

WVOTA and National School Backpack Awareness Day
The mission of the West Virginia Occupational Therapy Association (WVOTA) is to help support, protect and advocate for the Occupational Therapy professionals who practice within West Virginia.
West Virginia Occupational Therapy Association shared a link.
Repeal of cap on Medicare outpatient therapy services
The mission of the West Virginia Occupational Therapy Association (WVOTA) is to help support, protect and advocate for the Occupational Therapy professionals who practice within West Virginia.
West Virginia Occupational Therapy Association shared a link.
Fleischauer And Summers Receive Awards For Work On Opioid Abuse Solutions
The mission of the West Virginia Occupational Therapy Association (WVOTA) is to help support, protect and advocate for the Occupational Therapy professionals who practice within West Virginia.
West Virginia Occupational Therapy Association shared a link.