To whom it may concern,
I am a 25 year old who lives an autism spectrum disorder. My passion is to advocate for those with autism and other disabilities and to spread awareness of issues that affect the disability community in general. As an American who lives with a disability, I am deeply concerned about this recent bill which attempts to cut Medicaid funding. These cuts can significantly affect the quality of life for people like myself because we wouldn’t be able have the supports and accommodations we need to live in the community as well as getting appropriate medical and mental health care.
Growing up, I benefitted from services and therapies such as early intervention that enabled me to achieve a lot of things like going to college, getting a job etc. In addition, I am also a client of regional center services in California and utilized variety of the services that enabled me to get a job. Even though I have achieved a lot, I still need support in my daily life and will eventually rely on Medicaid funds for health care as well as for housing and support on living on my own. If the Graham-Cassidy act is passed, it would make it harder for me to access the support I need in order to make the next big step on living on my own a smooth one. In addition, I will be 26 next year and will no longer fall under my parents’ health insurance so Medicaid funding will be crucial for me to continue to have adequate access to good healthcare. If there are drastic cuts to Medicaid, it would be hard to imagine a great future for myself and to know that there is a safety network in place for me .
The Graham Cassidy act and drastic cuts to Medicaid would get rid of the safety net for me and a lot of people with disabilities who rely on government funding. Medicaid is a big resource for regional center system here in California. These cuts that are being proposed by the Graham Cassidy could drastically affect programs s such as supported Living and employment as well as respite and other key services that people with developmental disabilities and their families rely on. Families will not be able to afford key therapies that can improve the quality of life for their children if insurance doesn’t cover the cost of early intervention services. I am not writing this letter just for myself, but on behalf of those with disabilities and other preexisting conditions who are afraid to speak out. Some people will not be able to survive without Medicaid funding since Insurance companies can charge a higher premium or refuse coverage for those with preexisting conditions. I do believe there needs to be reforms to Medicaid services but the Graham Cassidy bill is not the solution since it will make life harder for people with disabilities.