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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

ADAPT Occupies U.S. Capitol Rotunda to Protest Medicaid Cuts and ACA Repeal

Source: ADAPT

ADAPT’s modified American flag (which features the universal symbol of accessibility in white stars) is held high during NCIL’s 2016 March to the Capitol. US Capitol Rotunda can be seen in the background.On Wednesday, March 22, 2017, ADAPT occupied the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building while protesting Congress’ and the Trump Administration’s efforts to eliminate Medicaid and Affordable Care Act (ACA) protections that are critical for disabled people’s survival.

People with disabilities have been overlooked and rendered invisible as Congress and the Trump Administration rush to repeal the Affordable Care Act and block grant Medicaid, with potentially devastating consequences. Fifty ADAPT members with disabilities from across the country are in the Capitol Rotunda demanding to be heard by their elected representatives.

Solidarity press conferences are being held concurrently in at least 30 states, with many states holding press conferences in several locations around the state.

Legislation currently proposed in Congress does not address the following critical healthcare essentials for people with disabilities:

  1. Insurance plans will not have minimal requirements. We may end up with coverage that doesn’t cover anything.
  2. No true protection for the pre-existing conditions that all persons with disabilities have. Currently, proposed legislation indicates that we will have less coverage, pay higher premiums, and have no protection without continuous coverage.
  3. There is no mention in the American Healthcare Act (AHCA) of the Community First Choice Option that is contained in the ACA. This eliminates a critical pathway for us to bypass nursing facilities so we can live in our own homes.
  4. Medicaid block grants mean significant cuts over time in Medicaid funding to states. To compensate, the federal government proposes giving the states complete freedom to cut services and supports as they see fit. This risks throwing us back to a dark age where people with disabilities die without healthcare, are warehoused in horrific conditions, or are subject to abuse and neglect. The states have a harrowing history of providing NO supports and services when regulations and funding requirements are entirely removed.

In response, we demand:

  1. That there be no block granting of Medicaid, no per capita caps.
  2. That our Congressional Representatives and Senators co-sponsor the Disability Integration Act.
  3. That the Community First Choice Option be preserved.
  4. That critical protections of the ACA be preserved, including but not limited to true protection from discrimination for pre-existing conditions.

ADAPT logo: Free Our People“First this administration came for the Muslims, then they came for the immigrants, then they came for the free press, and now they are coming for us” said Lopeti Penima’ani, from Utah “but we will resist all attempts to take us back to the dark ages.”

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