NDY in National Disability Leadership Alliance: Opposing Cuts To Vital Healthcare

[Editor’s Note: NDY is a member of the Steering Committee of the National Disability Leadership Alliance. The Steering Committee consists of 15 national organizations run by people with disabilities. Below is a press release issued by NDLA in connection with a letter joined by over 200 disability groups opposing Congressional efforts to cut healthcare and home care that is essential to our community.]

Contact information:

Karen McCulloh, Director, National Organization of Nurses with Disabilities, 847-966-4699, karenmcculloh@gmail.com
Kelly Buckland, NCIL Executive Director, 202-207-0334,Kelly@ncil.org
Samantha Crane, Autistic Self Advocacy Network, Legal Director, Director of Public Policy, 202-509-0135, scrane@autisticadvocacy.org
Bruce Darling, National ADAPT organizer, 585-370-6690, BDarling@cdrnys.org

National Disability Leadership Alliance and over 200 Organizations from Across the United States Express Opposition to Congressional Efforts to Cut Vital Health Care and Community Based Services for People with Disabilities.

The National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) today published a letter signed by over 200 disability organizations from around the country, calling on Congress to preserve Medicaid services for people with disabilities, including community-based long term services and supports. The letter identifies several programs that “underpin one of the most fundamental rights that Americans are guaranteed under the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution: Liberty.”

“The number of organizations that have signed on shows that the Disability Community is united in opposing any efforts which will reduce services that enable disabled people to live in the community and lead an independent life,” said Gary Arnold, President of Little People of America. “Disabled people have the same right to live in the community as all Americans, and the bill proposed by this Congress guts the programs that secure that right.”

The letter follows upon the release earlier this week of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), introduced by Congressional Republicans to replace the Affordable Care Act and passed by the Ways and Means Committee last night.

“As an attendant service user, my freedom and life depend on my personal assistance services. It is appalling that Congressional Republicans are cutting Medicaid services for people with disabilities which will put our freedom and our lives at risk” said Kelly Buckland, Executive Director of the National Council on Independent Living, “So many disabled individuals are locked away in nursing facilities and other institutions because they can’t get the care they need now; this plan will only make that worse.”

Buckland continued, “Saying that our lives are on the line isn’t an exaggeration. We – in the Disability Community – all know someone who died because they didn’t get the personal assistance services they needed. Each death – itself – is a tragedy, but the blatant disregard Republicans are demonstrating illustrates their true contempt for the lives of people with disabilities.”

It is estimated that 1 in 5 Americans has a disability, and most disabled Americans receive services through Medicaid. AHCA, although characterized as ACA reform, affects Medicaid programs most significantly, reducing income and asset limits and sunsetting funding for programs which support community-based services such as Community First Choice.

The National Disability Leadership Alliance (NDLA) is a national cross-disability coalition, led by disability groups run by persons with disabilities, with support from allies to build a strong and unified cross-disability movement so that we, as individuals with disabilities, have the power to shape national policies, politics, media, and culture. NDLA is led by 15 national organizations run by people with disabilities with identifiable grassroots constituencies around the country.

One thought on “NDY in National Disability Leadership Alliance: Opposing Cuts To Vital Healthcare

  1. I believe that the elderly and the disabled are between a rock and a hard place as my research informs me that both political parties in their health care plans and vision will continue to target the elderly/disabled on Medicare and Medicaid insurance for savings in end- of- life- care. Isn’t it counterproductive for the Disability Leadership to take a political position supporting or opposing any particular political party?

    The public Medicare/Medicare Advantage and Medicaid hospital insurance plans target the elderly/disabled by keeping these vulnerable populations, as possible, out of expensive ICU and CCU hospitalizations after their health has been compromised by age and/or disability, and/or active terminal-type disease or accidents that result often in multiple hospitalizations.

    I agree that any threat to dismantle “home care” under Medicare and Medicaid makes the threat to the vulnerable elderly and disabled much greater. The big difference between “home care” and “hospice care” is that under “home care” the patient, under current law, retains the right to go to Emergency and the hospital to get “c urative care.”

    However, the Hospice patient is not eligible for hospital care, i.e. curative care, and therefore, not eligible for emergency care, and the shared vision of both political parties is that the Hospice patients will die in their own home or in a residential nursing home on their own dime or on the Medicaid dime on the Hospice entitlement and save money for the federal government.

    Isn’t it always about the money and the law and administrative rules and regulations made at federal level concerning reimbursement protocols of Medicare/Medicaid that will favor the big interests in the Medical Industrial Complex? The easiest way to curb costs for government is to ration medical care by “legally” not reimbursing for the medical care under reimbursement protocols of the ACA or any other health plans that will be developed in the future.

    Perhaps the best strategy of the National Disability Leadership would be to address President Trump personally since he promised that no Americans would go without health care —-but he didn’t promise that their health care insurance and plans would pay for them to live as long as medically possible under US Law. Only the elite and the wealthy of the USA will achieve universal health insurance wherein they can live as long as medically possible because they can afford to pay the high costs.

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