On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker vetoed an additional $320 million from the legislature’s state budget, including a cut of more than $7 million from the Department of Developmental Services (DDS) budget. The impact of the reductions mean uncertainty for many people and this will be heightened by the continued uncertainty caused by Capitol Hill policy makers. Although we believe that the legislature will override the Governor’s vetoes, we don’t know for certain. This week US Senate Majority Leader McConnell said, “Regretfully, it is now apparent that the effort to repeal and immediately replace the failure of Obamacare will not be successful.” He added that he will keep trying. Those attempts may affect both the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid. Again, an uncertain future is leaving states, service providers, and recipients in confusion. In a 2016 Forbes opinion piece, Neil Howe wrote, “When we leave our comfort zone, everything changes. We no longer know how the world works. We become anxious and fearful… Minutes turn into hours.” In confusion, Howe says people act. We know many people with disabilities will be wondering about their future. They will be looking for certainty. But it’s not about just this year. Are we facing a decade-long fight over Medicaid and health care? What will that mean for the services that our constituents require?  Multiply the clouds caused by today’s uncertainty hundred-fold! When we face uncertainty, we often avoid planning for the future. When we act quickly, disappointing outcomes follow. Let’s not bend to uncertainty. Let’s act where we know we can make a difference.  Join us in building a more certain future!

The Running Game in Advocacy

In football, the running game may be slow but it’s nearly always the key ingredient to any winning strategy. In talking about Running Back LeGarrette Blount, New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick said he liked the fact that Blount has the “ability to make the yards that we need at the time we need them.” Continue reading

An Update on the Senate Health Care Bill

As many of you realize, the Senate version of the Health Care bill was released yesterday, June 22.  Unfortunately, this bill also severely cuts Medicaid and health care coverage provisions as in the House bill. The bill includes deep Medicaid cuts and focuses on reducing premiums (Ted Cruz says they are NOT low enough in the Senate bill) but neglects long-term impact on out of pocket and premiums for those who have existing health conditions like people with disabilities.

More than 10 million people with disabilities rely on Medicaid to live in their community, receiving basic services. Continue reading

Breaking Grounds on WCVB

This week, Nicole Estaphan of WCVB stopped into Breaking Grounds Café to see what was brewing. She met the staff of Northeast Arc’s newest endeavor and experienced how the Café is making a difference in the community and in the lives of individuals with disabilities. She also learned how future legislation could affect those individuals.  In addition to airing on WCVB, the story also aired on ABC affiliate stations in New York and Florida.