"The Affordable Care Act's guarantee of health care regardless of disabling conditions, could have become as significant in our nation's history for people with disabilities as the Emancipation Proclamation was for black people," said James Weisman, United Spinal Association President & CEO, in the letter.
For generations, people with disabilities could not risk losing the support of government programs for their health care, like Medicaid and Medicare, to seek employment or go back to work, because their employers' insurance policy would delay covering disabling conditions or not cover them at all.
This kept people at home, who were educated, trained and employable, and dependent on taxpayers for their health care.
If the provision is repealed and the replacement does not protect those with pre-existing conditions, employment for United Spinal members and hundreds of thousands of paralyzed people residing in the United States is a largely illusory goal.
For people with disabilities to live independently they need access to housing, transportation, employment and, most importantly, health care.
"As a candidate, you stated that the replacement would happen at the same time as the repeal. Recent news reports indicate that Congress may not agree," wrote Weisman.
"Please reiterate your campaign commitment to keep the prohibition against pre-existing conditions and limitations out of any replacement legislation and ensure that the replacement plan exists before Congress takes action that will hurt our members and all people with disabilities," the letter concluded.
About United Spinal Association
United Spinal is a national 501(c) (3) nonprofit membership organization formed in 1946 by paralyzed veterans and is dedicated to improving the quality of life for all Americans with spinal cord injuries and disorders (SCI/D), including multiple sclerosis, spina bifida, ALS and post-polio. It played a significant role in writing the Americans with Disabilities Act, and made important contributions to the Fair Housing Amendments Act and the Air Carrier Access Act. Membership is free and is open to all individuals with SCI/D. United Spinal was instrumental in getting New York City to create sidewalk curb ramps and accessible public transportation that has been used as a model for many United States cities.
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SOURCE United Spinal Association