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ADAPT MN Questions the Governor About His Legacy About Supporting Ppl w Disabilities and Seniors

Yesterday (8/29) ADAPT MINNESOTA went to the State Fair to question Governor Dayton about not funding OVERTIME for Homecare.  Gov. Dayton wa...

Monday, May 9, 2011

ADAPT to Washington: "Stop De-funding Our FREEDOM!"

Washington, D.C.- Over 400 members of the national grassroots disability rights organization, ADAPT will converge on Washington, D.C. from all parts of the country April 30-May 5 to tell Congress and the Obama Administration to "Stop De-funding Our FREEDOM!"

US Capitol flag at night"For people with disabilities and those who are aging, it feels like we are being drowned in a man-made tsunami of cuts to Medicaid services," said Bruce Darling, ADAPT organizer from Rochester, NY. "Between the draconian cuts we are experiencing in our home states, and the added threat of collateral damage from the budget wars here in Washington, we are not only at risk for losing our freedom to live in our own homes, but we are truly afraid for our lives."
The 1999 U.S. Supreme Court Olmstead decision, affirming Title II of the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, mandates that people with disabilities of all ages should be served in the "most integrated setting," which almost always is their own home and community. Olmstead further states that isolating people unnecessarily in institutions is segregation, and therefore illegal.
Yet today, at least 38 states are proposing or have made cuts to Medicaid that threaten the civil rights of older and disabled Americans to live in their own homes and neighborhoods. These cuts are proposed in a variety of areas, from home-based attendant services, to medications, vision and dental services, to mental health services, and durable medical equipment like wheelchairs. All of these services and equipment are medically necessary for the health and safety and freedom of those with disabilities and who are aging.
"Our own home states are treating us like second class citizens, and it's no better here in Washington," said Mike Ervin, ADAPT organizer from Chicago. "For 20 years we've been telling everyone that removing the institutional bias from the Medicaid program, giving people who need some daily assistance the choice to stay in their own home to receive services, would save the government money along with being in compliance with the law. And yet, even with research to back us up, Congress has chosen not to make this simple change in the law and save both money and lives."
Medicaid currently mandates states to pay for nursing homes, but does not similarly mandate that states can pay for the same services in a person's own home. This is not a partisan issue. The Obama administration says it is open to any solutions that could help reduce the deficit, and Democratic congressional leaders like Sen. Tom Harkin (IA) and Rep. Danny Davis (IL) and Sen. Max Baucus (MT) have long supported home and community-based legislation. Republican Representative Dennis Rehberg (MT) has stated, "To control long-term care costs, Congress and the Administration should also examine ways to move Medicaid away from institutionalized care and toward home and community based care," and Republican Governor (WI), Scott Walker, recently wrote, that Medicaid is "...is biased toward caring for people in nursing homes rather than in their own homes and neighborhoods."
"We'll be in Washington this week DEFENDING OUR FREEDOM, and demanding that Congress stop de-funding our freedom," said Rahnee Patrick, ADAPT Organizer from Chicago. "Many of us live on $674/month, 75% of poverty level. Federal and state budgets should not be balanced on the backs of the poorest of the poor.
Follow what ADAPT is doing in Washington DC at the ADAPT Action Report.
US Capitol at nightThe ADAPT Action Report is organized to let you follow the ADAPT Action in Washington DC. This year the direct-action group will use video phones to upload video on YouTube.com. The idea is to show the hard-work and exciting in-your-face advocacy of ADAPT. There is nothing like the experience of an ADAPT Action, but if you cannot be in Washington, the ADAPT Action Report will try to capture some of the feel of being there.
Follow the Action on Twitter: http://twitter.com/NationalADAPT.
Look for Twitter photos: http://twitpic.com/photos/NationalADAPT.
If you don't have a Twitter account; follow the action on the adapt site with a "Twitter Feed." http://www.adapt.org/twitter#twitterfeed
Visit the Defending Our Freedom blog: http://www.defendingourfreedom2010.blogspot.com/
Action information on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/people/NationalAdapt-Freeourpeople/100001054868604
Follow this link for the YouTube action: http://www.youtube.com/ADAPTvideo.
The Action Reports are news of the day with photos of the ADAPT activists in action. The ADAPT Action Blog is so you may have first-hand accounts from people involved in the ADAPT Action. News releases are collected in the news section and there is a direct link to the photos by Tom Olin of the Action and a link to activists uploading video from the action on YouTube.

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