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Disability rights advocates call on Congress to preserve critical parts of the ACA

House votes on proposed ACA replacement bill

Disability Rights California

Sacramento,California (PR MediaRelease) March 22, 2017

Disability Rights California (DRC) and the California Foundation for Independent Living Centers (CFILC) today called on the California congressional delegation to preserve access to Medicaid services (Medi-Cal in CA). The plea comes on the eve of the House’s March 23 vote on the American Health Care Act (AHCA).

“The rush to approve the AHCA, without sufficiently analyzing its impact, will further harm the people whose very lives depend on access to affordable and appropriate health care,” said Catherine Blakemore, executive director of Disability Rights California.

The House is moving legislation that eliminates the Community First Choice Option (CFCO) by 2020. It is part of a strategy to cut Medicaid funding for people with disabilities. CFCO was introduced as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). It is the only current Medicaid program that protects the right of people with disabilities to live in the community rather than in an expensive nursing facility. CFCO also saves states millions of taxpayer dollars.

“The proposal over time will not provide the state with enough funds to meet the health and long-term care needs of Californians with disabilities,” said Teresa Favuzzi, executive director of California Foundation for Independent Living Centers. “It may force California to cut health care, restrict eligibility, or create waitlists to cover the loss of federal funding.”

Disability rights advocates are concerned that capping or block granting Medicaid, would set limits on how many people with disabilities can move from institutions into the community. Eliminating CFCO restores the Medicaid bias toward institutionalizing people with disabilities – something the community has long fought to reverse.

Disability Rights California is a non-profit organization founded in 1978 to protect the rights of people with disabilities. Check out our website (, Facebook and twitter @DisabilityCA.

The California Foundation for Independent Living Centers is a non-profit disability advocacy organization focused on increasing access and equal opportunity for people with disabilities by building the capacity of Independent Living Centers.  Check out our website:, Facebook, and Twitter @_CFILC.


Disability Rights California advocates, educates, investigates and litigates to advance and protect the rights of Californians with disabilities.

Pat McConahay
Disability Rights California
Communications Director
(916) 504-5938

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