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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Press Release: ADAPT asks Sen Alexander to preserve our right to live in the community.

For Immediate Release  

For more information:
Allison Donald (901) 283-1412 (cell)
Tim Wheat (303) 887-9406 (cell)

People with disabilities ask Sen. Alexander to preserve disability rights aspects of the health care law.

(Memphis, March 22)  Mid-South ADAPT is calling on Senator Lamar Alexander to preserve critical components of the Affordable Care Act which secures the rights of people with disabilities to live in the community and provide vital healthcare services.  ADAPT demands equality for people with disabilities and is visiting Sen. Alexander’s Memphis office to share personal narratives of the critical importance of inclusion of people with disabilities.

“The American Health Care Act (AHCA) threatens to take back all of the victories disability advocates have fought for the past thirty years or more,” said Allison Donald Organizer for Mid- South ADAPT.  “We are here today to let Senator Alexander know we want him to keep the preexisting conditions provision prohibiting discrimination by insurance companies, say yes to CFCO, say yes to money follows the person, and say yes to accessibility standards for diagnostic medical equipment. We want him to say no to Medicaid block grants, because our lives depend on it.  Healthcare is a Human Right!”

Congressional Republicans are moving forward with legislation that eliminates the Community First Choice Option (CFCO) for Tennessee by 2020 as part of a strategy to cut Medicaid funding for disabled individuals.  CFCO, which was introduced as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), is the only current Medicaid program aimed at ensuring disabled people’s rights to live in the community.  By providing enhanced federal funds to states that have adopted the program, CFCO gives Medicaid beneficiaries greater access to home and community services enabling them to live in their communities rather than expensive nursing facilities or institutional settings that rob them of their civil right and fundamental liberties.  Tennessee could save millions with CFCO, we are asking Alexander to keep this option available for our state even if he chooses to repeal the ACA.

In the states that have implemented it, CFCO has become a vital tool in moving disabled people out of nursing facilities and other institutions and into their own homes.  Members of the Disability community have expressed concerns that the GOP is using CFCO and block grants to play partisan politics without consideration for the many people with disabilities whose live are hanging in the balance and the potential benefits to states that could use the federal funds to move people out of expensive facilities.

“[People with Disabilities] should be able to do things on their own instead of having to depend on anyone to do things for them,” said Davina Williams of Mid-South ADAPT. “They should be able to do what they want to do for themselves.”

The concern in capping or block granting Medicaid congressional Republicans are setting limits on how many disabled people can transition from institutions into the community, and eliminating CFCO restores the Medicaid bias toward institutionalization that the disability community has long fought for.


WHEN: 11:30 A.M. Wednesday, March 22, 2017

WHERE: Sen. Lamar Alexander’s Memphis Office
125 North Main Street, Memphis Tennessee

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