To the Editor:
Far too many Americans with disabilities are facing a future with the prospect of losing access to health care. Access to comprehensive, affordable health care coverage can make or break the lives of any American, but particularly people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). The Affordable Care Act, which Congress is poised to repeal soon, has been a lifeline for people with I/DD. People with I/DD can require a comprehensive array of health services, including behavioral health, rehabilitation and habilitation, assistive devices, and long-term supports and services. The ACA, by increasing access to private health insurance, and by allowing states the option to expand their Medicaid programs, has helped people with I/DD live healthy and independent lives. Eliminating the ACA jeopardizes this progress and puts consumers’ ongoing access to comprehensive, affordable coverage at risk. The Arc of New Jersey urges lawmakers to preserve the ACA or at least replace it simultaneously with a functionally equivalent alternative. Repeal may make a good sound bite – but what Americans with I/DD need now is more than talk – they need action that keeps the promise of the ACA.
President, The Arc of New Jersey