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ADAPT Action To Focus On MiCASSA And Apology For Forced Institutionalization
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 10, 2003

WASHINGTON, DC--The national disability rights group ADAPT (American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today) wants lawmakers to know that Medicaid is about people -- thousands of people -- many of whom have been warehoused in nursing homes and other institutions across the country in order to receive health care benefits.

To bring this point home, 750 ADAPT members from at least 30 states plan to bring a collage to the nation's capitol May 10-15, with pictures and stories of real people who want forced institutionalization to end for people with disabilities of all ages.

During the spring action, named "Stolen Lives", the activists will be pushing Congress and the Bush administration to pass MiCASSA, the Medicaid Community-based Attendant Services and Supports Act, to end the current bias toward facility-based services in Medicaid. The legislation, which has bipartisan support and was first introduced into Congress by House Speaker Newt Gringrich in 1997, would allow participants to choose in-home services. A large percentage of Medicaid money currently goes to fund institutionalized services.

ADAPT also will demand from Bush and leaders of both political parties a formal national apology "for all the years that have been stolen from countless Americans due to decades of failed Medicaid policy that kept them warehoused in nursing homes and other institutions."

"While Washington politics continue to address "homeland security", we're going to demand that the government change the longstanding Medicaid policies that have deprived countless Americans with disabilities of the security of their own homes," Alfredo Juarez of El Paso, Texas ADAPT said in an ADAPT press release.

MiCASSA, the Medicaid Community Attendant Services and Supports Act


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