Issue: Affordable Health Care Act
Purpose: Advocacy for People with Disabilities
Central to the mission of BRiDGES are two key elements: Advocacy and Leadership.
This release focuses on the decisions being made now regarding health care for those Americans who are most susceptible to even the slightest changes to access, coverage, and continuing care. Rising costs of insurance coverage, prescription medication, and treatment warrant changes; however, those changes must ensure that existing systems, proven effective for helping people with disabilities maintain autonomy, are strengthened through the process.
The primary purpose of advocacy is to ensure that each voice is heard, and that every American freely exercises life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. As an Independent Living Center, BRiDGES is dedicated to advocacy that expresses the voice of people living with disabilities. With the prospective bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, it is essential that this voice is heard. More than 20% of Americans are currently living with a disability – and all Americans are affected by changes in vision, hearing, physical, emotional, and overall functioning as time goes by.
BRiDGES recognizes three key issues regarding the Affordable Health Care Act:
- Continuing Care
Regarding each of these issues, immediate action is required to ensure that the voices of millions of people with disability are heard, considered, and valued in the midst of this debate. It is not enough to repeal the ACA because of perceived broken promises if replaced with lesser coverage and care.
Regarding Access, it is important that health care coverage be affordable in ways that allow it to be used. Plans under the ACA that make insurance affordable only through excessively high deductibles and copays provide no value. BRiDGES supports changes in coverage that improve access to care.
Regarding Coverage, it is essential that mental health coverage parity other aspects of health care. In addition, supportive services – especially housing, must be recognized in tandem with health care. Stable housing is proven to mitigate even severe mental health concerns. Also, improvements to health care must include improved prescription medication coverage. BRiDGES supports maintaining mental health parity.
Regarding Continuing Care, it is necessary to ensure that coverage is sufficient to meet the needs. Chronic disabling conditions must have provisions that protect care for pre-existing conditions, and person-centered health care. BRiDGES supports protecting the Community First Choice Option that gives every American the autonomy and freedom to both live independently and receive the services needed.
Contact your elected officials in Washington to encourage common-sense legislation that improves access, coverage, and continuing care for people with disabilities, for every American.