First and foremost, NDY is a disability rights group - and without ADAPT's example and longstanding leadership on disability rights issues, NDY might not exist at all. Second, NDY's concerns aren't limited to opposing legalization of assisted suicide and euthanasia. We oppose any policies or practices that threaten the lives of people with disabilities. And make no mistake - the proposed cuts to Medicaid - under the laughable guise of "shared sacrifice" represent a big threat to the lives and welfare of people with disabilities of all ages.NDY's president and founder Diane Coleman is with ADAPT this week. I'm still here holding down the NDY fort while she's away.
Here's a little you should know about ADAPT's mission this week:
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES ARRIVE IN DC TO FIGHT FOR REAL MEDICAID REFORMPeople in and outside the disability community probably want to know that actor Noah Wyle (ER, Falling Skies) is marching with ADAPT this week (I hear he was arrested today along with ADAPT activists).
Washington, DC---ADAPT, the national disability rights action group known for its direct action tactics, will take the nation’s capitol by storm with a three-day series of actions Monday April 23 through Wednesday April 25. The actions will highlight the failure of the Federal government to protect community based services for very low income people with disabilities who rely on Medicaid. Adding to the Medicaid budget crisis throughout the fifty states, the Supreme Court’s consideration of the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act is creating unprecedented tension over the fate of millions of Americans with disabilities.
“The public presence of advocates for Medicare and Social Security is extremely visible, but the voice of people with disabilities who need Medicaid services has been often overshadowed at the federal level,” said Bob Kafka of ADAPT of Texas. “We are here to make it plain to Congress and the administration that we want action, not just words.”
“My state is relying on Federal Medicaid dollars to shore up services that are seriously at risk from a projected $2.7 billion cut to the state’s Medicaid budget,” said Rahnee Patrick of Chicago ADAPT. “These services include things like durable medical equipment such as wheelchairs, which both I and my husband need. They include pharmaceuticals. They include transplants. Everything is at stake. “
Added Marsha Katz of Montana ADAPT, “Cutting or changing Medicaid without thoughtful reform has very real life or death consequences for people with disabilities and people who are aging who live on fixed incomes that are significantly below the poverty level. Washington should be putting our tax dollars into cost-saving community based services, not costly nursing homes and institutions. The time has come to get real about how we spend Medicaid dollars. Medicaid really does matter.”
“When Congress’ idea of Medicaid ‘reform’ is creating block grants to the states, that demonstrates a real lack of political responsibility to ensure that vital services and supports reach the people who most need them,” said Patrick. “Block grants create a lack of accountability in spending because every state will administer Medicaid differently. We need to make sure that Medicaid dollars go to support the people who need Medicaid.”
Hundreds of activists from across the nation will participate in these actions, many of whom currently rely on Medicaid for their independence, health and safety.
Below is a picture of Noah Wyle sitting on the left, next to Diane Coleman, who has a tight grip on her coffee:
If you want to follow this week's actions in DC, here are the ways you can follow and look for opportunities to help our warriors in DC:
1. "Like" the National Adapt group page on Facebook. The page "Nationaladapt
Freeourpeople" is no longer working so we are asking all our Facebook friends to "like" the National Adapt Group Page instead. You can find it at: http://www.facebook.com/NationalAdapt.The top cities with more then 10 people each people "liking" this page are: Austin, Chicago and Philadelphia! Recruit your friends to "like" our page so your city can join this elite list. Austin leads the way with 26 "likes."
2. Follow the Twitter account @nationaladapt. If you do not have Twitter, you can still read our messages by visiting www.twitter.com/nationaladpt and refreshing the page every so often to see the latest news. We are proud to report that we have 3,165 people following the Nationaladapt tweets from all over the world. Be prepared for a thunderstorm of tweets through Thursday morning. We plan to kick some butt. Photos live from the site will also be posted via Twitter.
And of course, daily reports are available from the ADAPT Action Report compiled by Tim Wheat of Boulder ADAPT, which can be found at http://www.adapt.org/freeourpeople/2012/.
Daily reports are often posted very late at night or in the mornings and they have some good eyewitness reports.
BE ON THE LOOKOUT for Twitter or Facebook messages from us asking you to take action by making phone calls or letters. In the past, you have been so helpful by blitzing our targets with messages when asked---we will need your help again. Even though the physical action is happening here in DC, ADAPT actions are really about everyone taking action everywhere. You are with us, from Seattle to El Paso to Miami to New Hampshire.
One more thing:
On Sunday, ADAPT had a FunRun to raise funds for ADAPT. Diane Coleman was a runner and it's not too late to pledge or to donate a flat amount. I, since I'm in Rochester, am listed as a 'virtual runner' meaning I was there in spirit. You can support ADAPT and NDY through a donation to my ADAPT page as well. The links are below:
Diane Coleman's FunRun Donation/Sponsor Page
Stephen Drake's 'Virtual Runner' Donation/Sponsor Page
ADDENDUM - Diane Coleman was one of the over 100 ADAPT activists arrested today!