Hurricane Irma Has Come and Gone and We Are Still Here

Hurricane Irma has come and gone and as we always do, we have weathered the storm as The Arc family!  We are struggling, but everyone is safe.

Below, you can see a photo taken by staff of The Arc Nature Coast of a double rainbow that appeared over The Arc Nature Coast’s special needs shelter on Monday, September 11, 2017, a day after the storm had passed through.

Double Rainbow over The Arc Nature Coast Special Needs shelter on Monday, September 11, 2017, a day after Hurricane Irma passed through.

U.S. Senate Rejects Bill that would Repeal and Replace the ACA

In the early morning hours of July 28, 2017, the U.S. Senate rejected a “repeal and replace” bill for the Affordable Care Act.

This bill along with others that were introduced were harmful to Medicaid services that most individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities must have.  In the end, it was fortunate that the bill did not pass.

We were grateful that Senator Marco Rubio had his staff visit several of our chapters to better understand the use of Medicaid funds in this population, however, in the end he did vote to support the bill.

Senator Bill Nelson wrote several of us asking us to watch a speech he had made against the legislation and in the end he voted against the bill.

We have to continue to guard against cuts and changes to the Medicaid system which will negatively impact the quality of life for the individuals we serve.

This isn’t politics…it’s advocacy!

The Arc on Motion to Proceed in Senate: “All roads from this vote are bad for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities”

Washington, DC – The Arc released the following statement on Senate passage of a motion to proceed that starts debate on health care legislation that will impact Medicaid:

“Today, a majority of Senators ignored the pleas of their constituents and moved ahead with debating disastrous health care proposals that will result in people losing health care coverage and threaten the Medicaid home and community based service system.

“All roads from this vote are bad for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. One path repeals without replacing the Affordable Care Act. The Congressional Budget Office analysis showed that under that proposal, by 2026, 32 million people would lose health insurance and premiums would double.

“Another option decimates the Medicaid program, and the home and community based supports and services that people with disabilities rely on to do what many people take for granted, including getting out of bed in the morning, eating, toileting, and simply getting out into the community.

“Now is the time for action – it doesn’t matter if this is the first time someone is calling their Senators, or they’ve called them every day in this fight. This is the civil rights fight of our time, and we will remain vigilant to protect all that has been built to ensure the inclusion and equality of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in our society,” said Peter Berns, CEO, The Arc.

Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.