ADAPT Issues Lesson On Disability For CNN..

Just found this in my inbox and passing along to get it on out there in a timely fashion..

FREE OUR PEOPLE NOW..!!


For Immediate Release: October 14, 2009
For Information Contact: Bruce Darling 585-370-6690
MEDIA ADVISORY Marsha Katz 406-544-59504
www.adapt.org

ADAPT Confronts CNN at CNN HQ on Freedom for People with Disabilities

Who: ADAPT, National grassroots disability rights organization
What: Occupying CNN offices at CNN Headquarters in Atlanta
When: NOW, Wednesday, 2009.10.14 (9:30 a.m. Eastern time, and continuing)
Where: CNN HQ in CNN Center, Atlanta
Why: Get the Facts Straight on the Community Choice Act!

For nearly 20 years, ADAPT has been fighting to eliminate the institutional bias that forces seniors and people with disabilities into nursing facilities and other institutions. With very rare exceptions, this issue has been ignored by the major national media.

Even now, when the country is discussing the need to reform health care, the national media has overwhelmingly failed to recognize this critical issue.

Even worse, CNN got it wrong! In August of this year, Dr. Sanjay Gupta from CNN mentioned the Community Choice Act (S683/HR1670) during a segment on health care reform, but he stated that the legislation addressed the need for accessibility in medical settings. ADAPT contacted Dr. Gupta and CNN asking them to correct their inaccuracy and follow our efforts while we are here in Atlanta. They did not.

It is clear that the media plays a significant role in shaping American politics and public policy. We understand that if we want to change public policy, we need the media to understand this issue and call for change. ADAPT members have tried everything we can think of to raise awareness of the institutional bias and alternatives to institutionalization. Literally hundreds of us have been arrested. We have shut down streets, taken over buildings, and even marched 144 miles from Philadelphia to Washington, DC!

Because we are a grass-roots organization, ADAPT doesn’t have the expensive public relations firms that can “place” our story in the national media. So ADAPT members have come directly to CNN’s national headquarters to educate the network on our issues. We are here to ask CNN that:

  • Dr. Sanjay Gupta and his colleagues at CNN meet with ADAPT to learn about the institutional bias, the Community Choice Act (S683/HR1670), and consumer-directed/community-based alternatives to institutionalization;
  • Dr. Gupta correct his inaccurate report about the Community Choice Act;
  • Dr. Gupta and his colleagues at CNN acknowledge in their reporting that there are disability rights and civil rights issues embedded within healthcare issues;
  • Dr. Gupta and his colleagues at CNN report about the efforts of the disability community to eliminate the institutional bias and give people a REAL CHOICE in how and where they receive long term services and supports; and
  • Dr. Gupta and his colleagues at CNN report about community-based and consumer-directed models of assistance that are more cost-effective and give seniors and people with disabilities real control over their lives.

For more information on ADAPT, visit our website at www.ADAPT.org.

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ADAPT :: Obama Administration Continues Institutional Bias in Healthcare Reform..

There are any number of things I could say right now.. I won’t.. I think this most needs to quickly see the light of day first.. Will save personal comments for another day, perhaps even for Twitter, instead.. 🙂

My deepest thoughts are with everyone from the Disability Community walking in these particular Shoes this moment.. Maybe if I’d been more of an outright bitch or something last year.. Maybe if I’d been just a little more healthier to keep pushing at it at the time.


For Immediate release from: ADAPT Press Releases
Wednesday, 2009.07.08, 6:11 PM EDT

For Information contact:

  • Bob Kafka 512-431-4085
  • Marsha Katz 406-544-9504

Obama Administration Continues Institutional Bias in Healthcare Reform

Washington, D.C.— The nation’s largest grassroots disability rights organization, ADAPT, expressed outrage today at the Obama administration’s selective endorsement of one piece of proposed long term care legislation while refusing to support a companion measure aimed at eliminating the institutional bias in Medicaid for aging or disabled lower income people that Obama, with strong support from over 80 national disability and aging organizations, co-sponsored as a Senator.

July 6, Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of Health and Human Services, sent a letter to Sen. Edward Kennedy, Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, expressing President Obama’s support for Kennedy’s “CLASS Act [H.R. 3001],” which would allow middle class Americans to set aside money from their paychecks in anticipation of the expenses they will likely face for long-term services and supports as they age, or acquire a disability. After paying into the fund for at least 5 years, workers or their non-working spouses could draw on the fund for long-term services and assistance, either in a nursing home or in the community. Workers who wish could opt out of the program, an outcome more likely in tough economic times or in cases where low worker-wages barely cover individual or family survival expenses.

“Those of us with disabilities, who are aging, and who aren’t able to work are outraged that the President has issued public support for this primarily middle class legislation, and has completely ignored the companion legislation that would include lower income disabled and older people in reform of long term services and supports, and health care reform,” said Bob Kafka, Texas ADAPT Organizer. “It’s like we don’t exist!”

ADAPT and a multitude of other national disability and aging organizations in Washington have gone on record in support of Sen. Kennedy’s CLASS Act only if it is paired with a “fix” for Medicaid addressing lower income and non-working people, similar to provisions contained in the Community Choice Act (CCA, H.R. 1670). CCA inserts the concept of “personal choice” into the law, adding language that mandates states to pay for help in a person’s own home the same way the law mandates them to pay for nursing homes. Current law can force people with disabilities and who are aging into nursing homes in order to receive services that can just as easily be delivered in the community. Research has demonstrated that community-based assistance is almost always less expensive.

“When President Obama was a senator, he co-sponsored CCA,” said Dawn Russell, ADAPT Organizer from Denver Colorado, “and when he campaigned for the Presidency, he pledged to support CCA. But since he was elected, and we met with his people at the White House, they told us that he will not include long term services and supports in health care reform. When we heard that, we expressed our disappointment and anger in a peaceful protest outside the White House. The President responded by having [200 of] us arrested, and there were very heavy fines levied against us. It feels like the President is trying to intimidate and silence us so we won’t speak up for people with disabilities, people with low incomes, and those who are aging who are at risk of being forced into nursing homes under the current law.”

Because the CLASS Act does not address the Medicaid “institutional bias,” people who use up the benefits they save under the act will still face having to move to nursing homes to keep getting assistance, unless they can afford to stay in their own homes because of other resources they have.

“When I voted last November, I was sure I was voting for a great man who would bring freedom to people with disabilities,” said Bruce Darling, ADAPT Organizer from New York. “Just as President Lincoln freed the slaves, I felt that President Obama would free those of us with disabilities from the continued threat of incarceration in a nursing homes and institutions. Now, I feel like a fool, because this administration apparently cares nothing for us and has no respect for our freedom and our civil rights.”

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  • Cindy Sue Causey

    Aspiring jewelry designer; disability self-advocate (degenerating cognitive abilities, mental health); Human rights activist; hobby webmistress..

    In a "past" Life, I've also worn the Shoes of: Marine mammal trainer/show performer; indoor tropical plant sales; department store merchandising; cryogenics small parts shipping; office clerk (accounts payable/receivable; labor data collection)..