For immediate release
Mike Oxford, (785) 224-3865
Bruce Darling, (585) 370-6690
ADAPT Activists to Storm Washington DC; Vow to Fight State Cuts to Medicaid Home Services
Fighting dangerous state Medicaid budget cuts across the country, the national grassroots disability rights action group ADAPT is planning direct actions at several venues in Washington, DC between September 19 to 22 to demand that states save Medicaid-funded home and community based services. These services support low income people with disabilities and who are aging to stay in their own homes instead of being forced into nursing facilities to obtain services. During this critical election season, ADAPT plans to make it clear that saving Medicaid services is key to winning the disability vote.
"During this time of fiscal panic, governors are looking for ways to save dollars," notes Mike Ervin of Chicago ADAPT. "Hundreds of us are coming to Washington because Congress and the White House need to step up efforts to protect Medicaid community services in the states. I use home services and without someone to assist me, I'd be waiting on some nursing home aide to change me or feed me whenever she was done with the other fifty people living in the same facility. With home services, I am in charge of my life."
Current Medicaid law mandates that states use their Medicaid programs to pay for nursing homes, but the law does not equally mandate that states pay for the same services in a person's own home. Today, most states recognize that providing home and community based services (HCBS) is a less expensive solution than institutions. However, in these tight fiscal times, Medicaid dollars funding "optional" services like HCBS are first on the budget chopping block, while the mandatory institutional budgets are rarely touched. ADAPT's current "Defending Our Freedom" campaign is a direct response to states' attacks against HCBS, services that allow people with disabilities to take care of themselves, raise their families and be part of society.
"Without the home services funded by Medicaid, hundreds, if not thousands, of people with disabilities in my state would be forced to live in nursing homes or institutions," said Joe Stramondo of Michigan ADAPT. "Some states are virtually on the edge of bankruptcy. It makes no sense to spend extra dollars on institutions when those same dollars could fund more people with disabilities to live in the communities of our choice."
To learn more about Defending Our Freedom, please visit http://www.adapt.org/adapt-campaign.php.