ADAPT WENT ALL OUT THIS WEEK FOR OUR LIBERTY

Large group of activists, many in wheelchairs gathered in front of a fancy house.  Shot from the back.

Early morning visit to Secretary Price’s house to get him to meet with ADAPT

Blind man (Tom Earle) in a red ADAPT T-shirt and holding his white cane in one hand, is dragged down a hallway by two police officers.  An officer on each side holds his arms and his legs drag behind him.

CIL Liberty Resources Director Tom Ear;e arrested at Trumpcare hearing.

From the back, a group of people in wheelchairs are gathered in the street by parked cars,.  They appear to be heading toward a house.

ADAPT makes early morning housecall to HHS Secretary Price since they missed him at the office yesterday. Photos: Cathy Cranston

Disabled Activists Call on Health and Human Services to Make Community Integration a Priority

Over 200 activists from the disability rights group ADAPT are gathered at the Health and Human Services Headquarters (HHS) in the Hubert Humphrey Building. The activists are calling on HHS and the Trump Administration to prioritize policies that will ensure the integration and equality of disabled Americans.

“Health and Human services continues to act as though institutional nursing services are their constituents and we are commodities through which the nursing facilities can make their money.”, said Nancy Salandra, organizer from Philadelphia ADAPT. “This has to stop and stop now. We need to be placed in charge of services and supports that will allow us to remain in our own homes and communities. Experience has repeatedly shown that placing us in charge will result in lower per-person costs, so there is no excuse for further delay.”

We are therefore demanding that Tom Price, secretary of HHS:

  • Publicly acknowledge that Disabled Americans who require Long Term Services and Supports have the right to Life and Liberty as guaranteed under the Constitution;
  • Ensure that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services use their authority to require states to implement managed care in a manner that affirmatively promotes community living.
  • Work with ADAPT and the National Council on Independent Living to reestablish the Money Follows the Person program as a funding stream for the provision of community transition services.
  • Stop the torture of Disabled Americans by instructing the FDA Administrator to finalize the FDA’s proposed rules banning the use of shocking devices.
  • Publicly recognize that inadequate Medicaid rates have driven down attendant wages and consequently undercut the Life and Liberty of Disabled Americans and utilize HHS’s authority to assure that state Medicaid rates are sufficient to secure the workforce needed for community integration; and
  • Instruct the HHS Office for Civil Rights to take a stronger role in Olmstead enforcement by requiring states to develop and implement a plan to promote community living and comply with the Olmstead decision.

ADAPT’s history, the issues it is fighting for, and its activities can be found at www.adapt.org, the NationalADAPT Facebook page and on Twitter under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST.

ADAPT Demands Senators Graham, Cassidy, Heller and Johnson Withdraw Their Bill Because of It’s Devastating Attacks on the Life and Liberty of Disabled Americans

Morning, 9/26/17 – Washington, D.C. Activists from the disability rights organization ADAPT have gathered outside the offices of  Senators Lindsey Graham, Bill Cassidy, Dean Heller and Ron Johnson to demand that they withdraw the ACA repeal amendment which bears their name. The Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson Amendment cuts Medicaid funding for home and community based services which enable disabled people and seniors to live in the community and lead an independent life.

“This bill is just a worse version of the bill that Americans soundly rejected over the summer,” said Marilee Adamski-Smith. “When Republicans proposed capping Medicaid and allowing states to eliminate protections this summer, those proposals were met with massive protesting from many Americans who do not want Congress to strip the rights of disabled people, seniors, medically fragile children, and poor people.”

Senator Graham had been critical of the summer’s rush to pass the “Better Care Reconciliation Act”, of which the Senator had said on Twitter “A bill – finalized yesterday, has not been scored, amendments not allowed, and 3 hours final debate – should be viewed with caution.” Yet Senator Graham’s own bill, which has been unanimously opposed by the Medicaid Directors of all 50 States, is being considered under an equally hasty and opaque process. Senator Cassidy promised earlier than any final health bill would provide protection for individuals with pre-existing conditions, but Senator Collins has said that her reading of this bill is that it would allow for higher, possibly unaffordable rate increases for persons with pre-existing conditions. Senator Heller earlier voted against similar bills.

“We call on Senators Graham, Cassidy, Heller and Johnson to keep earlier promises and commitments and  to withdraw this amendment which is a disaster for disabled Americans and seniors who rely on Medicaid,” said Vickie Cuscino. “This bill is being pushed through with a false and manufactured urgency and the final product, which will have your names on it, Senators, will cause millions of Americans with disabilities, seniors, and children to die.”

181! Arrested at Protest at the Senate Finance Hearing on latest version of Trumpcare

Disabled Advocates protested inside and outside the Senate Finance Hearing Room to demand that the Senate vote against the Graham-Cassidy amendment to repeal the Affordable Care Act and decimate Medicaid – ADAPT – Free Our People!

Disabled Advocates Are Protesting in the Senate Finance Hearing Room to demand that the Senate vote against the Graham-Cassidy amendment to repeal the Affordable Care Act and decimate Medicaid

9/25/17, Washington, D.C. – Two hundred advocates from National ADAPT are at the Senate Finance Hearing protesting against cuts to Medicaid in the Graham-Cassidy Amendment and the elimination of critical protections afforded persons with disabilities in the Affordable Care Act. The Amendment, which is the latest attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act, includes block granting Medicaid funding to the states, which will result in devastating cuts to Medicaid. When their backs are up against a financial wall, many states have threatened a return to the days of warehousing people with disabilities.

“Graham-Cassidy is the worst bill yet that Republicans have come up with to repeal Obamacare. This wasn’t what they campaigned on; they didn’t campaign to strip away the services that disabled people and seniors rely on to live in the community,” said Bruce Darling, an organizer with ADAPT. “They campaigned on fixing Obamacare and I don’t understand why they continue to target our community with cuts that will steal disabled lives instead of actually fixing anything.”

ADAPT has worked for decades to expand the availability of home and community based services as the first option for disabled people, rather than institutionalization. Despite years of effort, Medicaid home and community based services remain optional for states, while institutionalization is a mandatory Medicaid service in every state. Cuts to Medicaid funding will fall first and hardest on community based services, forcing disabled people into institutions which will be underfunded hives of abuse, neglect, and human misery.

“The cuts to Medicaid funding are cruel and un-American,” said Dawn Russell, organizer from Denver Colorado. “Forcing disabled people and seniors into institutions just to pay for tax cuts, which is what this bill does, is not equality. It’s not liberty. Graham-Cassidy is a policy for a much crueler and meaner country than this one, and the people who support it should be ashamed of themselves.”


Danny and HeiwaADAPT’s history, the issues it is fighting for, and its activities can be found at www.adapt.org, the NationalADAPT Facebook page and on Twitter under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST.

ADAPT of Texas joins National ADAPT and Jumps into Action in Washington DC

Thirty five stalwart ADAPT of Texas members traveled to Washington DC to join with National ADAPT to call attention to the attack on people with disabilities currently taking place in Congress and Trump administration.  While Health and Human Services Secretary Price jet sets around the country in private planes burning up federal funds faster than you can say “jack robinson”, ADAPTers schlepped to DC from around the nation to put themselves on the line in defense of people with disabilities.  Due to the speed and strength of the attack on people with disabilities ADAPT sprang into action with a double header this afternoon.

Prong #1:

Disability Advocates Petition Attorney General Sessions 
for Olmstead & Civil Rights Enforcement

Sunday 9/24/17 – Washington, D.C.— Activists from the disability rights organization ADAPT are gathering at Attorney General Jefferson Beauregard Sessions’ apartment in DC to demand that he make the integration and civil rights of disabled Americans a priority at the Department of Justice.

“Attorney General Sessions is in a unique position to advocate for disabled people,” said Jennifer McPhail. “Millions of Americans are forced into institutions simply because they are disabled. Disabled Americans have fewer due process protections before being locked in institutions than people who have been accused of crimes. ADAPT has petitioned the Justice Department under Obama but did not see deinstitutionalization being made a priority. We are demanding that the new Administration be responsive to the Disability Community.”

ADAPT issued a list of demands for the Justice Department, including:
•    Acknowledge that unwanted institutionalization denies Disabled Americans their Constitutional right to Liberty;
•    Work with ADAPT and the Disability Rights community to pursue high-profile Olmstead/ADA enforcement actions in every state to address the institutionalization of thousands of people with disabilities – of all ages – in nursing facilities;
•    Work with ADAPT and Autistic advocates to stop the torture of Disabled Americans in the Judge Rotenberg Center who are subjected to electric shocks and other painful aversives; and
•    Work with ADAPT and the National Council on Independent Living to ensure that the ADA is enforced in such a way that Americans with Disabilities are not discriminated against or institutionalized in the event of a natural disaster.

“There’s no asterisk on the Constitution that says you are too disabled to enjoy life, liberty, and property free of government interference,” said Bruce Darling, an organizer for ADAPT. “Yet that’s what people with disabilities experience every day in this country. The Attorney General can help secure the Constitutional rights of millions of disabled Americans by working with our community on these priorities.”

Prong #2:

Disability Advocates Bring the Fight for Deinstitutionalization Home for Union Boss

9/24/17 – Washington, D.C. Activists from the disability rights organization ADAPT are gathering at AFSCME President Lee Saunders’ home in DC to demand that the largest public service employees union support the integration and civil rights of disabled Americans by endorsing the Disability Integration Act.

“ADAPT leadership has worked with AFSCME – even seeking their support crafting DIA’s legislative language before a bill was ever introduced in Congress.  We appreciate the efforts to help ensure that we have the strongest bill possible, however, AFSCME’s behind-the-scenes support is no longer sufficient”, said Mike Oxford, organizer with Kansas ADAPT.

The Disability Integration Act is bipartisan civil rights legislation, introduced by Senator Schumer and Representative Sensenbrenner, that ensures that people with disabilities have the right to live in the community. “This Bill is vital to ensuring disabled people’s freedom is no longer at constant risk to a system that is biased towards our institutionalization.” said Anita Cameron. “I have been a lifelong union supporter, but while our life and liberty are under threat AFSCME remains silent. Their silence as we are being attacked lends support to our oppression.”

ADAPT hopes that in making our appeal directly to Saunders, the union will promptly declare its support for the legislation. “We have a long history of working with unions to promote the rights of disabled people.” said ADAPT community organizer Bruce Darling. “SEIU is a vocal and public supporter of our legislation and AFSCME needs to follow suit and endorse this legislation.”

This just starts the week, ADAPT will be in DC till Thursday Sept 28th so keep your eyes peeled for more stories, pictures and more.


ADAPT’s history, the issues it is fighting for, and its activities can be found at www.adapt.org, the NationalADAPT Facebook page and on Twitter under the hashtag #ADAPTandRESIST.

 

ADAPT of Texas joins Protest of Senators Cornyn and Cruz on Health Care Zombie bill

Protesters stand in line along fence outside Hogg Auditorium calling for Cruz and Cornyn to oppose health care bill.

Outside Hogg Auditorium at UT and Trbfest

Group of people stands along sidewalk with posters. In the foreground someone with a bull horn is talking.

  Group rallied outside UT entrance calling for an end to Senate health care bill 

 

Sunday Morning, Austin TX — ADAPT joined with Indivisible Austin, Left Up to Us, Our Revolution, Children’s Defense Fund, CTD and numerous other groups to protest the Graham Cassidy Health Care bill in the Senate, the newest reincarnation of Trumpcare.  The protest was held at UT at the corner of 24th and Guadalupe outside the Tribfest (Texas Tribune Festival) where Senators Cruz and Cornyn were speaking this morning.  Both of Texas’ Senators have avoided town hall meetings and meetings with constituents over this issue of slashing healthcare by destroying the Affordable Health Care Act/Obamacare, and have consistently voted to ruin Obamacare and slash Medicaid funding.  This latest version of the bill would block grant health care to the states, and would cut deep into the base Medicaid program (not just the expansion).  It takes away protections for people with preexisting conditions and for people who need mental health services by making these optional to the states and allowing insurers to charge whatever they want to these individuals and families.  Neither Cornyn nor Cruz has shown any support for people with disabilities whose preexisting conditions are covered by Obamacare or Medicaid.  Cuts to Medicaid will also mean cuts to community attendant services which already have waiting lists in the hundreds of thousands.  Senate Majority Leader McConnell has said the Senate will vote on the bill on Wednesday, so let your Senators Cornyn and Cruz know ASAP how you feel about this legislation.

Flanked by two women, Stephanie Thomas in her wheelchair, holds a large sign that reads Denying Disabled People Health Care is Genocide.

Protest of Cornyn and Cruz at Tribfest