calling for a meeting with the
president, who has never met with members of the disability community.
issues are not partisan. Four years ago when President Bush issued his New
Freedom Initiative and his executive order mandating implementation of the U.S.
Supreme Court Olmstead decision, we believed him," said Steve Verriden,
Wisconsin ADAPT organizer. "But here we are four years later, facing the worst
Medicaid cuts in history, which will, without a doubt, keep people illegally
confined in nursing homes and other institutions and force even more people
into those settings. This loss of personal freedom and all the president's
empty promises are unconscionable because they mean more stolen lives."
Bush's New Freedom Initiative articulated that people with disabilities
have the right to access all parts of their community and the American way of
life. It directed all federal departments to assess and plan removal of
barriers that prevent people with disabilities from having that access.
According to ADAPT the Olmstead Executive Order promised older and disabled
Americans home and community based services and supports, instead of the forced
institutionalization that results from the institutional bias in the nation's
Medicaid program. States must pay for nursing home services, but are not
required to pay for the same services in a person's own home and community.
people who led our march were those who have had years of their lives stolen by
the Medicaid institutional bias," said Cassie Jones, Philadelphia ADAPT
organizer. "We want the president to hear loud and clear that we are tired of
having to wait for our freedom." "We're lying cuz you're lying," was the name
of the demonstration at the HHS (Health and Human Services) building, where
there was an early morning lie-in. Wheelchair users slid out of their chairs
and crawled into sleeping bags on foam mats and they were served breakfast in
According to ADAPT, the momentum to reverse the institutional bias
in the nation's long term care system by HHS has ground to a halt. Thousands of
people with disabilities and older Americans are still unnecessarily being
forced into nursing homes and other institutions because of the inaction of HHS
coupled with the administrations proposed cuts to and caps on Medicaid.
As part of
this grassroots campaign, ADAPT urged disability advocates to contact Sen.
Charles Grassley, asking him to introduce the legislation that includes Money
Follows the Individual, as well as schedule hearings on MiCASSA. According to
ADAPT, his office has had this draft legislation since July 25, 2003 and
nothing has been introduced. He says he will hold hearings but has not set a
date. For information contact ADAPT, 512 442-0252 .