Take Action for HCFA FY19 Budget Amendments: Let Your Voice Be Heard NOW!

Friday, April 20, 2018
Thank you to all those who attended the April 2018 Democracy School! We felt that it was a huge success. The Immigrant Healthcare Access Coalition (IHAC) Steering Committee team is in the process of going through each of your questions and will be uploading answers in the near future on the Immigrant Health Toolkit.
 
In the meantime, members of the HCFA team wrote a blog describing the day's events and the various topics that were presented on. We hope you
enjoy it:
 
"On Saturday, April 14th, in what seemed to be a precursor to the Boston Marathon, members of the Immigrant Healthcare Access Coalition (IHAC) steering committee completed their own long distance event - they ran the 2018 Democracy School: Building Health Care Power in Immigrant Communities. This training was part of a coordinated, on-going effort to inform immigrants and the groups that serve them about their health care rights. The training also aimed to dispel the growing fear and mistrust within immigrant communities that is preventing many individuals and families from seeking the health care services they need - when they need them.'
 
"Staff members from Health Care For All (HCFA), Health Law Advocates (HLA), and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
(MIRA) spent six months meeting one-on-one with individuals and organizations in the Greater Boston area to discuss the challenges to health care access that are facing immigrant communities and to anticipate additional challenges coming in the near future.'
 
"Robust recruitment efforts led to the participation of more than 65 health care providers, community based organizations, and individual consumers. Having had a goal of 15-20 attendees, the event's organizers were thrilled that so many committed advocates and volunteers came together to learn about the immigration rules and regulations that are critical to health care access for the communities they serve. High turnout at the training confirmed that there is a need for clear information and individual outreach within local communities that are made up of or serve large numbers of immigrants and their families..."
To read the full blog, please click here.
To find a list of the Democracy School materials, please click here.
Most materials are available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese. 
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In addition to our Democracy School updates, we have a request to make of all of you. 
The Massachusetts House of Representatives recently released their proposal for the state's budget for fiscal year 2019, which begins July 1 of this year. Representatives will begin voting on amendments to this proposed budget on April 23rd. There are a number of amendments that have an impact on MassHealth. We urge you to read through brief descriptions of the amendments below and contact your State Representative to tell them to consider the following:
 
HCFA Supports:
 
Amendment #1268 (Insurance Provider Directories): Sponsored by Rep. Barber, establishes comprehensive requirements on health plans to make accurate provider directories available to the public. 
 
Amendment #580 (Periodontal Coverage Restoration): Sponsored by Rep. Scibak, seeks to restore periodontal care for people receiving MassHealth. This type of oral care is critical to helping prevent and treat gum disease. Without access to this care, we are all susceptible to permanent loss of teeth along with increased risk of diabetes, heart disease, lung problems, and arthritis. 
 
For a full explanation of each amendment, as well as HCFA's complete budget amendment fact sheet, please click here.
Again, we strongly encourage each of you to contact your State Representative and let them know which amendments you, as a constituent, support. Call them TODAY so that they know how to vote on Monday! To find your State Rep's contact information, please click here