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Brain Injury Association of America Warns ACA Repeal and Medicaid Cuts Threaten TBI Survivors

Posted February 24, 2017

By Jonathan A. Karon

Yesterday, the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA) warned that imminent legislation to repeal the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and cut Medicaid spending would seriously harm brain injury survivors. Specifically, it cautioned that ACA repeal and Medicaid cuts would put people’s “health, services and lives” at stake.

In an “Action Alert” issued on February 23, 2017 the BIAA stated that a bill is expected to be introduced on Monday, February 27th in the U.S. House of Representatives which would repeal the Affordable Care Act and no longer base Medicaid funding on the actual cost of providing medical services but instead on a set amount per enrollee. As a result, the amount of Federal money going to the States for Medicaid funding would be “drastically reduced.”

Characterizing the ACA as “the most significant law for people with disabilities since the Americans with Disabilities Act” the BIAA advised that repeal of the ACA would eliminate important protections for brain injury survivors including: prohibiting health insurers from denying health insurance for persons with a disability or chronic condition; prohibiting arbitrary financial limits on the amount of health care which can be obtained in a year or over a lifetime; and providing essential support for people with disabilities to live in the community rather than being institutionalized.

The BIAA also warned that proposed Medicaid cuts could cause some brain injury survivors to lose “critical services” including personal care, mental health, prescription drugs and rehabilitative services.” It could cause a loss of community-based services and support and force some persons into “unnecessary institutionalization.” It will also shift some of the costs of necessary care to individuals, parents, states and providers.

As the nation’s oldest and largest nationwide brain injury advocacy organization, the Brain Injury Association of America’s concerns should be seriously considered by anyone who is committed to making sure that brain injury survivors are able to obtain the services they need. Although as a personal injury attorney I have helped traumatic brain injury survivors obtain recoveries that provided them with resources to help move their lives forward, the legal process moves slowly and jury verdicts are never guaranteed. Moreover, legal remedies are only available to persons who sustain a traumatic brain injury through the fault of another. All TBI survivors deserve the care and services necessary to obtain a maximum recovery and quality of life. Whatever your views of the Affordable Care Act, it is essential that these services and protections continue to be available.

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