Friday, October 4, 2013

AHCA Members Brave Shutdown, Lockdown to Advocate for LTC

Determined LTC advocates perhaps got more than they bargained for during AHCA’s member visits to Capitol Hill on Wednesday and Thursday.

AHCA members attended Congressional meetings despite the government shutdown, with some having to take shelter in Congressional office buildings due to Thursday afternoon’s lockdown. Thankfully, no one affiliated with AHCA was hurt, and afternoon meetings proceeded normally once Capitol Police gave the all-clear.

The meetings, which occurred both Wednesday and Thursday, focused primarily on those states which would be most seriously affected by a cut to bad debt Medicaid reimbursement. The President’s FY2014 proposal suggests that bad debt Medicaid reimbursements be cut to only 25%, representing hundreds of millions in losses for providers across the nation. The 2012 Tax Relief Act recently cut the reimbursement rate to 65% for all states.

Members from seven states met with nearly 30 members of Congress at a time when many sources on the Hill hinted at a potential “grand bargain” to not only refund the government, but also to avoid the debt ceiling and potentially other wish-list, end-of-the-year items.

It remains as important as ever to ensure that our profession stays on the Congressional radar. Even if you’re not partaking in this debate on Capitol Hill, you can still make an impact.

Connecting with your members of Congress is easier than ever! Call, write, Tweet, or post a Facebook message on your Representatives and Senators’ walls, and let them know that AHCA advocacy efforts certainly are not shut down this fall!

It is only with your help that we can ensure the important decisions that are being made will benefit not only the countless Americans that depend on long term and post-acute care, but their caregivers, as well.

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