On August 9th, Caring Across Generations activists, in partnership with Health Care for America Now, organized a Day of Action to protect Medicaid. We held more than twenty-five press conferences and actions across the country to drive home the importance of Medicaid for two important voting constituents: seniors and caregivers.
August Recess is usually the perfect time to let members of Congress know how you feel about issues that are important to you. Sadly, this year, many members of Congress failed to hold town halls or other public events to engage with their constituents face to face. But we didn’t let that stop us: we brought our message straight to their doors (and we mean literally!).
Creative actions took place across the country, like a “knit-in” in Medford, Oregon, and family caregivers and home care workers alike spoke out against cuts to Medicaid. Our actions focused on seniors and caregivers, but we invited everyone in attendance to be a part of the “Caring Majority” to demonstrate the power and strength in coming together for all those who feel the impact of care in their lives.
While people who rely on Medicaid to live independently have long known why Medicaid must be protected, the coverage that Medicaid received during the ACA fight has bolstered its significance in the nation’s consciousness. Our members, many of whom were exhausted from protesting the repeal of the ACA for months, still showed up because they know that the Trump budget and Republican agenda are still bent on gutting this vital program. We must continue to capitalize on the political success we have had in defending Medicaid and harness the energy from July’s win to stay vigilant and strong in response to continued challenges to the program.
As we continue this fight to defend these supports that our families need and deserve, we have the amazing opportunity to put forward our vision for care. We know that the best defense is a strong offense: in addition to defending Medicaid, let’s call for expanded home and community based services and a put a stop to harmful block grants and per capita caps. We must call on our state elected officials to invest in caregivers, expand long term care programs, raise wages, and increase benefits..
How can you help? Take action by telling us what you need. Your input will help us to create a care infrastructure that truly works for all of us — those of us who need care and those of us who do the hard and steady work to provide it.
Check out additional coverage of the Day of Action: