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.

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