Beth Swedeen
(608) 220-2924

(MADISON) — The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities supports the
Senate vote that rejected changes to the Affordable Care Act. Earlier bill drafts also would have cut hundreds of billions of dollars from Medicaid, which people with disabilities rely on to stay in their homes and communities and out of costly facilities.

“The majority of the Senate listened to the voices from the disability community and elsewhere that making major changes to health care without stakeholder input and careful analysis is dangerous,” said Beth Swedeen, BPDD Executive Director.

Both the House version of ACA repeal, as well as multiple Senate versions cut more than $700 billion from Medicaid, a 50-year-old program that provides critical supports and health care to people with disabilities, frail seniors, as well as low-income children and families.

“The disability community has many ideas and recommendations on ways to improve Medicaid to preserve outcomes while being cost-effective,” Swedeen said. “As discussions move forward on any changes, it is critical that the disability voice is at the table every step of the way.”

Swedeen said thousands of people with disabilities and their families shared their stories with
policymakers, the media, and on social media during the repeal discussions.

“We have people in every county of the state ready to talk with policymakers to craft
improvements that make sense for everyone and preserve critical supports,” Swedeen said.
“Wisconsin is a leader in developing long-term care programs funded by Medicaid that have
resulted in fewer wait lists, higher quality, and more people living in the community than many
other states. We are hopeful that we can share those and other strategies with federal
policymakers in the months and years ahead.”

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