ADAPT headed to DC soon, you can help!

August, 2017

Dear Friends of ADAPT of Texas and Independence for All:

ADAPT of Texas members along with disability rights activists throughout the country will be traveling to Washington DC September 23rd – September 28th to advocate for the right of people to live in the most integrated setting as stated in the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act.

We are now confronting attacks on our health care and our home and community service and support system funded by Medicaid.

ADAPT says this is unacceptable!  Protests around the country erupted after 43 ADAPTers were arrested on June 22nd saying HEALTH CARE and MEDICAID ARE RIGHTS NOT PRIVILEGES!

Though it was only a part of what we were protesting,  the passion of ADAPT activists can be understood by asking yourself the following question:

                       WOULD YOU WANT TO BE PLACED IN

              A NURSING HOME OR OTHER STATE INSTITUTION?

The Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision ruled that people with disabilities and older Americans should have the right to choose to receive support services in their own homes and communities.  This means the ability to “age in place” and be as independent as possible, rather than being forced into a nursing home or other institution.

These are choices thousands of Americans have to make everyday as our population ages and medical advances save the lives of people with disabilities of all ages.

Though Texas has made great advances in the last few years in providing community services, there are still thousands of people with disabilities, old and young waiting for needed services to remain in their own homes.  

THEY CURRENTLY DON’T HAVE AN EQUITABLE CHOICE!!!!!!

This is not just a Texas problem but a problem confronting all Americans who need these critical health care and community services to live with dignity and independence. 

ADAPT of Texas members are working on this problem.

ADAPT of Texas is part of a national movement to reform, not only the institutionally biased Medicaid/Medicare funded long term care system, but the entire long term services and supports system.

ADAPTers are supporting the Disability Integration Act now introduced in the Senate and the House that will bring freedom and liberty to people with disabilities of all ages and all incomes.

People with disabilities and older Americans overwhelmingly want to receive person centered in-home services rather than face the prospect of having to go into a nursing home or other state institution.

The “institutional bias” continues — even though the general public overwhelmingly wants services and supports delivered in their own homes and communities.  ADAPT of Texas will continue our advocacy until no person in Texas or any other state is forced into a nursing home or other institution,  denied health care because of a pre existing condition or not get health insurance because it is too expensive.

ADAPT of Texas activists will be joining with hundreds other advocates for our next national gathering in Washington DC.   Our goal is to send a message all over America,  “HEALTH CARE FOR ALL!”  “OUR HOMES NOT NURSING HOMES OR OTHER STATE INSTITUTIONS”.

ADAPT of Texas needs your support to allow Texans with disabilities to be part of these efforts.

Enclosed you will find a budget for supporting one activist to ADAPT’s gathering Washington DC.

Your financial support assisting an activist to thisevent will be greatly appreciated. 

All donations will go directly to support our advocates’ efforts to reform our health care and long term services and supports system.

Working together we can reform this system and allow every child, young adult and older person to have the dignity, respect and independence that all people with disabilities expect.

Together we can and will succeed! 

If you have any questions please contact us at (512) 442-0252.

For an Institution Free Texas and America,

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I SUPPORT HEALTH CARE AND HOME and COMMUNITY LIVING           ##########################################

  •  $1000     Support for one activist
  • $ 750 Support for Travel, Hotel
  • $ 500 Support for Hotel,
  • $ 250 Support for Travel
  • $ 150 Support for Attendant Services
  • $ 100 Support for Wheelchair maintenance/equipment
  • $ 50          General Support

Send your tax-deductible contribution to:

ADAPT of Texas

1640A East 2nd St

Austin, Texas 78702

         or

www.adaptoftexas.org           Credit Card/paypal     see DONATE BUTTON

Thank you for your support for disability and human rights.         

National ADAPT Camped Out at Russell Dirksen Senate Office Buildings in DC

WHO: ADAPT Chapters: DC Metro ADAPT, PA ADAPT, and Maryland ADAPT
WHAT: Camp-Out to Save Our Medicaid
WHERE: Out Front the Russell and Dirksen Senate Buildings
WHEN: July 23, 2017 at 8:00pm

ADAPT Demands Our United States Senators Vote NO on the Better Care Reconciliation Act and Vote NO on the Obamacare Repeal Reconciliation Act – Save Our Medicaid

7/23/17, Washington, DC: Tonight, over 15 ADAPT members from DC Metro ADAPT, PA ADAPT, and Maryland ADAPT are setting up camp to save disabled lives and liberty in front of the Russell and Dirksen buildings. Disability rights activists with ADAPT are protesting against the ACA repeal and caps and cuts to Medicaid in the Senate healthcare bill. “To say people will die under these changes is not an exaggeration,” said Cathleen Holdsworth, a Philly ADAPT organizer. “Medicaid services are what allow us to do our jobs, live our lives, and raise our families. Where would my daughter be if her parents ended up in a nursing home? She even has a disability herself and is fearful of ending up in an institution due to these cuts and threats to our lives! Without these services many disabled and elderly Americans will die. We won’t let that happen,” she said.

The Camp-Out to Save Our Medicaid starts a month after a protest in Washington DC where ADAPT activists were literally dragged out of the office of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. The previous DC protest fell on the 18th anniversary of Olmstead vs. LC the 1999 Supreme Court Ruling which first recognized disabled people’s right to live in the community. ADAPT organizer Germán Parodi of Pennsylvania quickly noted the connection between that case and the Senate health care talks. Parodi states that, “We fought so hard to have our right to live in the community recognized. Now, we are 18 years later, still fighting to keep our right from being tossed against our will into places like the Georgia Regional Hospital and Pennhurst – institutions of our nightmares.” The Camp-Out to Save Our Medicaid will fall on the 27th anniversary week of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Jill Jacobs from DC Metro ADAPT declared, “I am camping out because Medicaid saves lives. Without it, people I know and love will die and go into nursing homes. My own family will suffer greatly. My friends, and thousands upon thousands will be institutionalized, and yours will, too. Neighbors, co-workers, hard-working human beings will disappear from our communities. I am camping to save lives and communities. The truth? I am camping because Medicaid literally keeps my son alive. I refuse to sit at home, shut my mouth, and let greedy men kill my son.”

Congress has been waging a tireless war on the disabled and elderly communities and we’ve met them with Resistance at every corner! Respect Our Existence Or Expect Our Resistance!

ADAPT’s history, the issues we are fighting for and our activities can be followed on our web site at www.adapt.org, our ADAPT Facebook pagewww.facebook.com/NationalADAPT/ and on Twitter – look for#ADAPTandRESIST

HOUSING GETS CREAMED IN TRUMP BUDGET AND CONGRESS PROPOSALS

The federal budget put forth by the Trump administration will be terrible for people with disabilities.  The 15% cut in HUD funding might not sound that bad but here’s how it shakes out for low income folks with disabilities as well as other low income families. (And this is just some of the damage they hope to inflict):

  • Trump’s budget will increase average rent for HUD assisted disabled households by $72/month, 26%.
  • It cuts housing vouchers (of all kinds) so that over 250,000 nationally will lose their housing and obviously waiting lists for new vouchers will only get longer.
  • It cuts 811 program (housing for people with disabilities) by 16% ($25 million).
  • It cuts project based rental assistance (subsidized apartments) by $465 million so there won’t be enough just to continue what is being done now.  More folks lose housing.
  • Housing for people with AIDS is cut $26 million.
  • Public housing will be cut 68% in its capital funding, operating funds would be cut by half a billion dollars (almost 25%).
  • Homeless assistance is cut by over $1 billion.
  • This budget ELIMINATES ALL FUNDING FOR:
  • The National Housing Trust Fund (set up to target funding to the lowest income households)
  • HOME funds – one of the biggest funders of accessible, affordable, integrated housing.
  • CDBG funds – locally designed programs for things like targeted vouchers, sidewalks,  architectural barrier removal and so much more.

 

CHANGES THE RULES

HUD Secretary would be given the power to waive or change requirements for PHAs (public housing) and gets rid of cap on number of public housing units that can be converted to vouchers or rent assistance.

  • Tenant’s rent would go up from today’s 30% of adjust income to 35% of gross (total) income, and increases minimum rent to $50.
  • It PROHIBITS tenants from getting utility reimbursements
  • And freezes rent adjustments.

(want more details?  The National Low Income Housing Coalition has lots of good info http://nlihc.org/, as does Center on Budget and Policy Priorities   https://www.cbpp.org/topics/housing)

 

Even if Congress does better, the Trump budget sets the bar so low really bad cuts can be called improvements even though they hurt thousands of people.  It’s an old Texas Legislature trick: threaten to cut off both arms and both legs, so when they cut off one arm you are supposed to say thank you for not cutting off my other 3 limbs.

Don’t stay quiet.  Next week is a national week of action to support affordable housing.  Check out:  www.ourhomes-ourvoices.org

 

Austin’s efforts start on Saturday 10:00 am to 10:30 am with a press conference and rally at Austin City Hall (301 W 2nd St) On the plaza on the Cesar Chavez side between Guadalupe and Lavaca.  Click here for more details.

There will be additional events, including workshops (ADAPT is doing one on Fighting for Accessible, Affordable Integrated Housing  on ADA DAY July 26 from 1:00 to 2:30 at our office 1640 East 2nd ST – ASL interpreters provided) throughout the week.

Coverage of the event included:

)http://kut.org/post/advocates-austin-rally-against-proposed-cuts-federal-housing-funds http://www.kvue.com/news/local/affordable-housing-advocates-proposed-hud-cuts-would-have-devastating-effect-on-austin-community/458815403 http://www.mystatesman.com/news/local/federal-cuts-could-worsen-austin-affordability-crisis-groups-say/od1u6eJ3UhKtWUKub4XsEK/

DESERT ADAPT’s AMAZING VIGIL AGAINST MEDICAID CUTS

Desert ADAPT ended their over two week vigil in front of the Republican Headquarters in El Paso.  The stalwart ADAPTers had camped out on the sidewalk in front of the headquarters to protest the Republican pushed efforts to slash Medicaid as part of their Health Care bills.  For two weeks the Republicans refused to respond to Desert ADAPT’s stark demand that Medicaid be left out of this debacle.

Yesterday the police evicted them from their vigil.  But ADAPT’s troops ended their vigil, heads high and voices loud singing My Medicaid Matters and holding one more press conference to call attention to the havoc the Republicans in Congress want to rain down on people with disabilities.

Our hats are off to our brothers and sisters in El Paso.  Desert ADAPT you rock!

How do you spell power?  Desert ADAPT!

ADAPT/PACT Wring Instructions to improve Community Attendant Services from 85th Texas Legislature

by Cathy Cranston

When The Texas 85th Legislature ended on May 29th, there was a win for ADAPT/PACT from this bruising session, in the form of three budget riders. (Riders are instructions that get attached to the state budget.)

Rider 191 – Increase Consumer Directed Services – Health and Human Services Commission shall direct  the managed care organizations to increase the use of the Consumer Directed Services (CDS) model.

Rider 202 – Community Integration Performance Indicators is on page II-100 . This rider directs HHSC to work with stakeholders to develop and measure goals for integrating people with disabilities in the community.

Rider 204 – Ensure Network Adequacy is on page II-100.  This rider directs the managed care organizations to ensure there is a sufficient Community Attendant Workforce to meet the needs of people with disabilities they serve.

This is a great victory but we must remain watchful to make sure these riders are put into practice.

JULY 22ND (ANNIVERSARY OF OLMSTEAD DECISION) PROTESTS AGAINST HEALTH CARE ACT

by Heiwa Salovitz

On Thursday June 22nd, 2017, over a dozen ADAPT Of Texas members did a die-in, at both Senator Ted Cruz, and Senator John Cornyn’s Austin offices, to demonstrate the need for Medicaid, and other vital Health Insurance. To also tell them to vote NO, on the American Health Care Act. Cutting and capping Medicaid is dangerous for people. Medicaid helps people with disabilities live productive lives in the community, just like everyone else. Less dollars equals less service. Also, housing someone with a disability in a nursing home is more expensive than paying for that person’s community and long term services. Slashing funds to state medicaid programs puts tax cuts for the wealthy ahead of the future of children, people with disabilities and seniors.

Fox 7 covered the protest

CBS story on the protest

The group marched from Senator Cruz’s office to Senator Cornyn’s office, chanting “Save Our Medicaid”, and “No Cuts To Medicaid”. A small group ADAPTers managed to speak with Senator Cornyn’s Staff who stated that they would tell Senators DC Office how critical Medicaid is for Texans! Our action was part of a larger simultaneous National ADAPT Action, where roughly one-hundred ADAPTers from all over the country protested at Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s Capitol Office, in Washington DC.

Rachel Maddow tells some of the history of ADAPT and the story of the protest.

Please get involved and evolved! Your voice makes a difference

Editor’s Note:  Since then Austin ADAPT has participated in a half dozen protests against the various variations of this bill.  Die In protest was just one. 

LIKE YOUR HOUSING? PROTECT AFFORDABLE HOUSING!

 

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Come to City Hall Plaza to join supporters of affordable housing speak out against terrible proposed cuts in HUD and USDA budgets.

When:  Saturday July 22  10 am

Where: City Hall Plaza on Cesar Chavez between Guadalupe and Lavaca

for more info locally: Austin Homes – Austin Voices

on facebook https://www.facebook.com/events/1025345994271845/AUSTIN HOMES - AUSTIN VOICES AUSTIN EVENTS CITY HALL RALLY Saturday, July 22 10:00am, 301 W 2nd St CIVICS 101: AFFORDABILITY, TRANSPORTATION AND CODENEXT -Austin Habitat Tuesday, July 25 6:00pm - 8:00pm in.gredients 2610 Manor Rd TEACH-IN - HOW TO FIGHT HOUSING DISCRIMINATION -Austin ADAPT Wednesday, July 26 1:00pm, ADAPT office 1640 A E 2nd St TENANTS’ RIGHTS PRESENTATION -Austin Tenants’ Council Thursday, July 27 2:00pm, ADAPT office 1640 A E 2nd St LETTER WRITING - Neighbors United for a Purpose July 28 2:00pm - 4:00pm, Lucero Apts 2301 Durwood St

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A diverse group of people are gathered in front of some housing with a big sun behind it all. Beside them are the words Our Homes, Our Voices

for more info nationally:  www.ourhomesourvoices.org

All Night Vigil for the Death of Disability Rights

we are here at 11th and Congress in downtown Austin for an all night vigil. The state budget bills have ignored the call to raise attendant wages from $8 an hour to $13. Despite the fact fast food workers grocery baggers and gas station workers make more Texas thinks it’s unnecessary to raise the wages of these critical workers.  To see a video on this issue click here

The state is completely defunding the relocation services that help people in nursing homes move back into their own homes.

The state is also completely defunding In-Home and Family Support program, on of the most cost effective ones we have.  People on that program will just be out of luck.

The state is doing nothing about the over 100,000 people on waiting lists for community services.  Some of these folks have been waiting over a decade and now can just wait 2 more years.

We have folks here from El Paso, Austin, Kileen, Conroe, Corpus Christi and the Valley.  IMG_2579

Earlier we held a funeral in the Rotunda of the Capitol and a funeral march through the first floor.