the advocacy monitor

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

Healthcare & Community Living

Voices of Health Care Media Training for Health Care Storytellers

Voices of Health Care is putting together a media training for health care storytellers next month in Denver (July 20-21, 2019), to teach people how to effectively tell their story, talk to reporters, write letters to the editor, do selfie videos, etc. They hope this will be the first of many, and are accepting up to 50 people. Apply using the link below and spread the word to interested health care activists and people with health care stories to tell.

Urgent Action Alert: Urge Your Representative to Vote YES on MFP Tonight!

The House is set to vote on a bill to extend the Money Follows the Person (MFP) program tonight! The Empowering Beneficiaries, Ensuring Access, and Strengthening Accountability Act of 2019 (H.R. 3253) was introduced late last week, and the House of Representatives is expected to vote on it at 6:30 p.m. Eastern today. H.R. 3253 will extend MFP for 4.5 years through 2023. Among several other things, it will also extend the home and community-based services (HCBS) spousal impoverishment protections through March 2024.

The vote tonight was scheduled as a voice vote, but it has been changed to a roll call vote. This means that each member of Congress’ vote will be individually asked and recorded. We need you to contact your Representative and urge them to vote YES on MFP tonight! Make sure they know how important the MFP program is to their disabled constituents!

How to contact: All members of Congress can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY).

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Add Your Organization as a Signatory to NCIL’s Chronic Pain Advocacy Letter to Congress

Because of policies aimed at addressing the opioid crisis through limiting prescriptions, people in pain are facing increasing barriers to accessing their medication and managing their pain. Many who have relied on opioids, often for decades, are seeing their medication forcibly reduced or eliminated; some are being denied medical care altogether.

Because many people with disabilities live with serious or chronic pain, our community is disproportionately affected by these policies. These harms – which may range from increased pain, to loss of function, to suicide or resorting to illegal substances – have finally been acknowledged by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Nevertheless, rigid, one-size-fits-all policies have already been enacted in over half of states and adopted by the major pharmacy chains and insurers. Similar policies continue to be proposed at both federal and state levels. The harm that has been caused cannot be undone, but action now can stop further harm from occurring.

Therefore, NCIL has drafted a letter, which will be sent to Congressional Leadership and leaders of key committees working on these issues. We are writing to educate Congress about recent actions by the CDC and the FDA that call out the dangers of these policies, and to ask Congress to work with their disabled constituents and disability rights organizations when developing future policies.

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Action Alert: DIA House Homestretch

Last week, ADAPT held a historic action on the Hill, significantly increasing the number of Disability Integration Act (DIA) co-sponsors in the House of Representatives. We are thrilled to inform you that – in response to a meeting with Montana ADAPTers during that action – Representative Gianforte (R-MT) has signed on to co-sponsor the Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555)! We are grateful to Representative Gianforte and so excited to have his support. Importantly, Representative Gianforte serves on the House Energy & Commerce Health Subcommittee, and his co-sponsorship gives us the majority we need to ensure passage through the subcommittee!

To pass on the House floor in July, the Disability Integration Act needs the support of a majority of 1) the Energy and Commerce Health Subcommittee, 2) the full Energy and Commerce Committee, 3) the Judiciary Committee, 4) the House Rules Committee and 5) the full House of Representatives. With Representative Gianforte’s co-sponsorship, we have secured a majority of DIA co-sponsors at every step of the process.

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Help ADAPT Keep the Pressure on Democrats in the House!

ADAPT is back in the House today working to secure additional cosponsors for the Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555). Per this morning’s alert, yesterday’s actions were hugely successful and we are extremely close to having the number of cosponsors needed to ensure passage in the House of Representatives!

ADAPT put out a press release this morning about their ongoing efforts today in the House to call on Democratic Representatives to keep their promise of civil rights for all. ADAPT has also called on House Leadership to cosponsor the Disability Integration Act (DIA), and NCIL joins in that call for support. At NCIL’s Annual Conference over the summer, Speaker Pelosi proudly wore a DIA pin and committed to securing as many cosponsors as she could for the bill (watch a video or read the transcript). It is time for her and the rest of House Leadership to cosponsor the DIA!

Keep Taking Action!

Check the list of current cosponsors, and if your Representative is still not a cosponsor, call now and demand they become a cosponsor today. Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to your Representative’s office, or contact their office directly using the House directory. You can use these fact sheets for talking points.

And, keep following and boosting the action on social media using the hashtags #ADAPTandRESIST, #DisabilityFreedom, and #DIAtoday.

Keep Supporting ADAPT – Make Calls Today!

Yesterday National ADAPT occupied 19 House offices in honor of ADAPT’s original “Gang of 19.” Yesterday was a huge success, with 19 new cosponsor commitments! Read the press release and check out the updated DIA Dashboard at disabilityintegrationact.org/dia-dashboard

With the new cosponsors and 2 additional yes votes (not co-sponsors), we are now at a total of 204. We are so close to having the number of cosponsors needed to ensure DIA passage in the House of Representatives. With 218 needed, we’re only 14 away!

THANK YOU to those of you who mobilized and made calls to your Representatives to support our ADAPT family in DC. ADAPT will be on the Hill again today, and they still need your support!

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Support ADAPT Next Week by Gearing Up for Action on the Disability Integration Act!

We are so close to having the number of cosponsors needed to ensure Disability Integration Act (H.R. 555 / S. 117) passage in the House of Representatives. Right now we have 158 cosponsors listed on congress.gov and ten more have committed to signing on this week, which means we only need 50 more to secure a majority of the House. Every week, we’re building more momentum and gaining more cosponsors!

Next Monday through Wednesday, ADAPT will be in Washington, DC for three days of historic work to get the DIA closer to passage. They’re coming to DC to call on Democratic members of the House to keep their promise of civil rights for all.

Read their message, “We Put Our Bodies on the Line to Save Obamacare. Now ADAPT Is Asking House Democrats to Support Our Fight for Freedom!

We need the IL community to be ready to mobilize and support their work!

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Action Alert: Momentum is Building – Help Secure Additional DIA Cosponsors!

The Disability Integration Act (DIA), H.R. 555 and S. 117, is continuing to gain cosponsors thanks to the efforts of disability advocates across the country!

As a reminder, we need 218 cosponsors to ensure we’ll have enough votes to pass DIA in the House of Representatives. Right now we have 155, which means we only need 63 commitments before passage is virtually guaranteed! ADAPT has created a new tool on the DIA website (disabilityintegrationact.org) called the DIA Dashboard, so keep checking back for updated numbers!

Our goal is still to pass the bill during the week of the anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), when many Independent Living advocates from across the country will also be in Washington, DC for NCIL’s Annual Conference on Independent Living. We need your help to make sure this happens!

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Action Alert: Ask Your Representative to Support Proposed Bill Protecting People from EVV

Advocates nationwide are working with Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) to draft a bill that will prohibit the use of global positioning systems (GPS) and biometric data collection in Electronic Visit Verification (EVV). This is the first step in our fight to stop EVV!

The draft bill will first be introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee. If your Representative serves on this committee, please call or email them to ask that they co-sponsor Representative DeGette’s proposed bill!

How to contact: All members of Congress can be reached by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY). You can also find your Members’ contact information at house.gov.

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This April: Help Secure House Energy and Commerce Members As DIA Co-Sponsors!

Thank you for participating in our Women’s History Month campaign to get women in Congress to co-sponsor the Disability Integration Act of 2019 (DIA) – H.R. 555 and S. 117! Thanks to your efforts, we secured six women co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, and one of them is on House Judiciary Committee!

  • Susan Davis (D-CA)
  • Deb Haaland (D-NM)
  • Primilia Jayapal (D-WA)
  • Nita Lowery (D-NY)
  • Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)
  • Jennifer Wexton (D-VA)

Now we need to focus on securing members of the House Committee on Energy and Commerce as DIA co-sponsors before the end of April!

As we embark on the fourth month of 2019 and of the 116th Congress, we need these members to get the DIA moving in Congress over the next few weeks. It is imperative that we connect with these members’ offices every day until we reach our goal.

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