A VOICE FOR MEDICAID 

The Association for Community Affiliated Plans (ACAP) is a national trade association which represents not-for-profit Safety Net Health Plans. Collectively, ACAP plans serve more than twenty million enrollees, representing nearly half of all individuals enrolled in Medicaid managed care plans.

Our mission is to strengthen not-for-profit Safety Net Health Plans in their work to improve the health of lower-income and vulnerable populations. Our vision is to improve the health and well-being of lower-income and vulnerable populations and the communities in which they live.

Through the Medicaid is US campaign, ACAP has strengthened its advocacy as a voice for Medicaid.

PROTECTING MEDICAID DURING REPEAL AND REPLACE

In late June 2017, ACAP launched Medicaid is US to oppose efforts to cut Medicaid as part of a broader attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

As the first group of insurers to rally public support against cuts, ACAP spoke up with a compelling message: Medicaid isn’t welfare – it helps working Americans stay on the job.

Medicaid is US focused on the economic benefits of Medicaid and the essential support it provides for low-income working Americans. Our messaging explained how Medicaid allows workers to manage chronic illnesses so they can stay on the job. It discussed the role of Medicaid in treatment for substance use disorder and nursing home care for millions of Americans, allowing their loved ones the peace of mind to keep working instead of serving as caretakers.

This message was communicated in a multimedia campaign. In just four weeks, the Medicaid is US campaign had generated more than 5,000 television spots in six states and the District of Columbia, 480 radio spots in five markets in West Virginia and Ohio, a full-page print ad in Politico, 33 stories in top national, local, political and health care trade publications and nine op-eds placed in outlets such as the Lund Report, Morning Consult and Crain’s New York Business Journal. Most importantly, the Medicaid is US campaign generated over 50,000 letters to Senators and Representatives over the course of the campaign, urging elected officials to oppose cuts to Medicaid.

The Senate ultimately voted against repeal of the Affordable Care Act, which would have cut Medicaid by hundreds of millions of dollars. In such a fast-paced, high-stakes environment, ACAP was able to successfully defend the interests of its member organizations and the millions of working Americans who rely on Medicaid for affordable health care.

BROADENING THE SAFETY NET: CHIP REAUTHORIZATION

In late 2017, Congress allowed funding to lapse for the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP).

The stakes were high. After federal funding lapsed, 11 states were on the brink of exhausting their emergency CHIP funding by the end of the year – Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Nevada, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Utah.

Time was short. Unless Congress acted soon, states would have been forced to curtail enrollment and health services for children. Protecting CHIP would provide the kind of fiscal stability that states need, and the health security that families deserve.

ACAP made the case. States have expanded children's coverage significantly through their CHIP programs. In some cases, CHIP is the only way for children to receive health insurance. CHIP has reduced the number of uninsured children by 67.9%, even during the economic crisis that began in 2008.

ACAP mobilized the list of online activists it recruited during the campaign to defeat repeal and replace, this time mobilizing them in support of CHIP reauthorization. After a series of short-term patches, CHIP was extended for five years, preventing it from being used as a political bargaining chip in the future.

FIGHTING OPIOID USE DISORDERS

ACAP has long advocated for the ability of Safety Net Health Plans to effectively care for their enrollees suffering from opioid and other substance use disorders.

ACAP advocated successfully for multiple provisions in the Substance Use-Disorder Prevention that Promotes Opioid Recovery and Treatment (SUPPORT) for Patients and Communities Act recently signed into law by President Trump.

ACAP supported language in the SUPPORT Act that requires reporting of Medicaid Adult Core Quality behavioral health measures. This reporting is vital to help federal and state policymakers better understand how state Medicaid programs are addressing the opioid crisis in their states and to provide opportunities to share best practices in this area.

Additional measures supported by ACAP include provisions to remove barriers to care in Medicaid among persons in institutions for mental disease, and for the Secretary of Health and Human Services to report to Congress innovative strategies state Medicaid programs are implementing for individuals with substance use disorders who are experiencing or at risk of experiencing homelessness.

LOOKING FORWARD TO 2019

As we look ahead to the next session of Congress, ACAP knows that the case for Medicaid will need to be made to a new class of incoming elected officials, and Medicaid must be defended from ever-present efforts to harm the program. Medicaid is US will remain a vital part of this debate, and ACAP will not shy away from its advocacy. Medicaid belongs to everyone and benefits everyone.

In this debate, there is no us versus them.

There is only        .