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Health Care

NDRN believes individuals with disabilities have the equal right to access high-quality, affordable healthcare that meets the specific needs of the individual and includes mental health services. To achieve these goals, the Network's efforts at the state and local level include individual casework and community training programs. At the national level NDRN advocates for public policies that support access to quality health care and services for individuals with disabilities.


Background Information: Congressional leaders have declared that one of their first goals in the new Congress is to repeal the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA or Obamacare) and “replace” it. While Congress has passed many bills to repeal the ACA in the past, it was clear that President Obama would veto them. But this is not the case with President-elect Donald Trump who says he will sign an ACA repeal bill.

We must educate our Members of Congress about why the ACA is so important to everyone, but especially to people with disabilities.


1)   Click here to send an email to your Senators, or

2)   Call the US Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and ask to be connected to your Senator’s office.  Tell your Senator:

  • Vote NO on the Budget package that leads to eliminating the Affordable Care Act.
  • People with disabilities need access to comprehensive and affordable health care.
  • Congress must include the disability community in any discussion about repeal and replace to ensure that any changes meet the needs of people with disabilities. 

3)    Tweet your Senators with the following sample tweets:

 See list of Senate Twitter Accounts here. And,

4)    Share these ideas through social media. Copy and paste this link on your Facebook page:

More information

There are many provisions in the ACA that support the health and well-being of people with disabilities that cannot be lost or the impact will be devastating on people with disabilities:

  • Because of the ACA, health insurers can't deny anyone health insurance if they have a disability or chronic condition.
  • Because of the ACA, there aren't arbitrary financial limits to how much health care a person can get in a year, or in their lifetime.
  • Because of the ACA, more people with disabilities receive supports and live in the community, not institutions.
  • Because of the ACA, 20 million adults and children now have health insurance, thanks to the Medicaid Expansion and health insurance subsidies, and millions of young adults have been able to stay on their parents’ health insurance.
  • Because of the ACA, health insurers started to provide people with the services they need—like mental health services and rehabilitation and habilitation services and devises.

There are countless other provisions in the ACA that are important to people with disabilities. The ACA has unquestionably improved access to care for people with disabilities and chronic conditions to help them live healthy, independent, and fulfilling lives.

The Latest News on NDRN's Work on Health Care

January 9, 2017

NDRN responded to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) request for recommendations of federal government interventions to ensure the timely provision of quality home and community based services (HCBS).The comments expressed appreciation for strides CMS has made to promote community integration and self-direction for persons with disabilities instead of institutions and urged CMS to do more to incentivize HCBS, increase the provider workforce and address lack of integrated housing and employment. We also request CMS support for a P&A health advocacy program to supplement CMS oversight of HCBS settings and to represent individuals with disabilities enrolled in Medicaid managed care. The comments can be downloaded here.

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Health Care Publications

Devaluing People with Disabilities: Medical Procedures that Violate Civil Rights

In a first of its kind study, NDRN determined that performing certain medical procedures or withholding life sustaining treatment in non-terminal situations without judicial review violates the civil rights of people with disabilities. Read more.