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.”

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