ADAPT To Visit Governors In Nation's Capital
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
February 21, 2003
WASHINGTON, DC--The nation's governors are holding their annual Winter Meeting February 22-25 in Washington, DC.
The disability rights group ADAPT is there, too, to make sure the governors keep in mind the needs for people with disabilities to live in homes of their choice in their communities.
ADAPT members from the local area plan to make themselves visible around the places where the National Governors Association (NGA) is meeting on Monday, February 24. That is the day the governors will be dealing with health issues such as Medicaid, the health care program for people with disabilities and low incomes that is facing budget crises across the country.
Along with other disability groups, ADAPT (American Disabled For Attendant Programs Today) is pushing federal and state governments to end the bias toward nursing homes and institutions in the Medicaid system.
ADAPT is demanding that NGA's executive committee meet with them to discuss issues that are important for Medicaid recipients with disabilities. The advocacy group wants the governors to support President Bush's $1.75 proposed incentive funding to help states implement the 1999 Olmstead decision. That U.S. Supreme Court ruling found that unnecessarily institutionalizing people with disabilities violates the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.
The group also wants the governors to support adding to a measure currently in Congress that would increase federal matching funds for home and community-based services.
"We are all too aware of the dire fiscal situation in nearly all of the states, and the potential for cuts to cause real harm to people with disabilities," said Bobby Coward of Capitol Area ADAPT in a press release. "We have some ideas that will help the states, and at the same time keep us from being forced into institutions. The problem is one we share, and want to meet with the NGA to be part of the solution."
Hopefully, the reception from the governors will be warmer than the weather: Forecasts for the Washington, DC area are calling for chilly conditions, with rain and snow likely.
ADAPT (American Disabled For Attendant Programs Today)