2017 News & Alerts

August 28, 2017 – Bazelon Center Statement on Transgender Individuals in the Military
The Bazelon Center condemns in the strongest terms President Trump’s executive memo banning transgender individuals from enlisting in the United States military and denying medically necessary care for transgender individuals already serving. Read the statement (PDF).

August 16, 2017 – Bazelon Center Statement on Charlottesville
The Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law stands alongside our disability and civil rights allies to condemn the racism, hatred, and violence displayed in Charlottesville this past weekend and to extend our support to the family of Heather Heyer, as well as to the other victims. Read the statement (PDF)

July 24, 2017 – Vote Scheduled for Tomorrow (Tuesday, July 25)
While we still do not know which health care bill the Senate will consider on Tuesday, we have gotten confirmation this weekend that a vote will happen on Tuesday. There are different versions of various bills under consideration. Read the statement (PDF)

July 14, 2017 – New Healthcare Bill, Same Medicaid Caps/Cuts
Senate Republicans yesterday released a new version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), the bill to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. The Medicaid caps and cuts in the new version and the repeal of the Medicaid expansion remain the same. There are now additional harmful provisions that will eliminate access to mental health benefits for millions of Americans who rely on private health insurance. Read the alert (PDF)

July 12, 2017 – National Disability Call-In Day
The Senate is planning a vote on a revised version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act next week. This week, we need to tell them that any bill that caps Medicaid and repeals the Medicaid Expansion is unacceptable. In partnership with the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities and other disability advocacy groups, we are proud to co-sponsor the National Disability Call-In Day! Read the alert (PDF)

June 28, 2017 – People’s Filibuster Week of Action – Day 3
Yesterday (Tuesday, June 27, 2017), Senate Majority Leadership announced that they were delaying the vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). You and your calls and your advocacy did this. Thank you for all of your work on this incredibly important issue for people with disabilities! Read the alert (PDF)

June 27, 2017 – People’s Filibuster Week of Action – Day 2
Last night, the Congressional Budget Office released a score, or financial analysis, of the Senate healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). The score confirmed our analysis of the bill—that it retains massive cuts to the Medicaid program, specifically $772 billion in the first 10 years and then even deeper subsequent cuts, and will cause millions of people, 22 million to be specific, to lose healthcare coverage. Read the alert (PDF)

June 26, 2017 – Join the People’s Filibuster Week of Action
Last week, the Senate released their healthcare bill, the Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA). This bill is as bad or worse than the House healthcare bill, especially for people with disabilities.  Despite releasing the bill a few days ago, the Senate is rushing to vote on the bill this Thursday. We urge you to participate in a People’s Filibuster Week and take action. Read the alert (PDF).

June 20, 2017 – Senate Planning Vote on Healthcare Bill – Call Your Senator Today!
The Senate is putting the final touches on its own version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which passed the House in May. Unfortunately, our best understanding at this moment is that the Senate bill makes an even deeper cut to Medicaid, while maintaining the other harmful provisions.  Learn more and find out how you can help (PDF).

May 26, 2017 – Bazelon Center supports the Raise the Wage Act of 2017.
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law strongly supports the Raise the Wage Act of 2017, which was introduced today by Senators Patty Murray and Bernie Sanders and Representatives Bobby Scott and Keith Ellison. Read more about the Act and how it helps people with disabilities (PDF).

May 24, 2017 – Bazelon Center Responds to Senator Request for Stakeholder Input.
The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law recently wrote a response to Senator Orrin Hatch’s request for stakeholder input on healthcare reform following the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA). Read the letter (PDF).

April 27, 2017 – House Considering Vote on Harmful Health Care Bill – Call Congress Now.
A new amendment to the American Health Care Act (AHCA) is winning the support of the House Freedom Caucus making it more likely that a vote by the House of Representatives could happen as early as this weekend. Action is needed immediately to stop the AHCA from being approved by the House of Representatives.  This is the bill that proposes to gut the Medicaid program through per capita caps and block grants and repeal many provisions of the Affordable Care Act that are critical to people with disabilities. Learn more about the bill (PDF).

March 22, 2017 – Contact Your Representative and Tell Them to Vote No on the American Healthcare Act.
The House will vote tomorrow, March 23, 2017 on whether to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The House bill proposes to cut 25% of Medicaid’s budget, eliminate the guarantee that Medicaid will provide the health and supportive services (including mental health and substance use disorder services) that people need, and kick 14 million Americans off of Medicaid. Read more about the vote (PDF).

March 7, 2017 – Tell Your Elected Officials to Oppose the American Health Care Act!
House Republicans introduced the American Health Care Act, a bill that repeals crucial parts of the Affordable Care Act for people with mental illness. Read more about the bill (PDF).

February 15, 2017 – Tell Your Senators to Preserve Critical Protections for Students with Disabilities!
The U.S. House of Representatives has voted to overturn the Department of Education’s regulation implementing the Every Student Succeeds Act’s (ESSA’s) core requirement that schools be held accountable for the performance of historically marginalized students, including students with disabilities. The Senate will vote soon on whether to follow the House and overturn the regulation. We ask you to call your Senators today and vote “no” and protect students with disabilities. Read more about how you can be proactive (PDF).

February 8, 2017 – Tell Your Senator to Vote No on Jeff Sessions and Tom Price.
President Trump has nominated Senator Jeff Sessions to be United States Attorney General. Mr. Sessions’ long history of opposing key protections for people with disabilities suggests that under his leadership, the Justice Department would not vigorously enforce the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, and other important disability rights laws. The President has also nominated Congressman Tom Price to serve as Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services. As a member of the House of Representatives, Rep. Price has sought to dismantle critical programs providing services to people with disabilities, including the Affordable Care Act and the Medicaid program. We ask you to call Senators today to tell them to vote “no” on both the nomination of Jeff Sessions for Attorney General and Tom Price for Secretary of Health and Human Services. Read more on how you can contact your Senators today (PDF).

February 1, 2017 – Bazelon Center Opposes Supreme Court Nomination of Neil Gorsuch
The Judge David L. Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, a national legal advocacy organization advancing the rights of people with mental disabilities, opposes President Trump’s nomination of Neil Gorsuch to the U.S. Supreme Court.  The Bazelon Center believes appointing Judge Gorsuch to the high court would result in significant harm to the lives of people with disabilities. Read more how this will affect the lives of people with disabilities (PDF).

January 24, 2017 – Tell Your Senator to Vote No On Betsy DeVos
President Trump has nominated Elizabeth “Betsy” DeVos to be Secretary of Education.  The Department of Education is responsible for ensuring that all children, including children with disabilities, receive a quality education, free from discrimination.  Ms. DeVos’s record and testimony at her Senate confirmation hearing disqualify her from leading the Department in this critical mission.  We ask you to call Senators today to tell them to vote “no” on her nomination for Secretary of Education. Read the alert here (PDF).