Demonstrators Want State To Restore In-Home Services And
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
April 21, 2004
MEDFORD, OREGON--About 100 protesters marched downtown to the Disabled Services Office Tuesday, to demand that state officials restore in-home services and medicines to about 1,700 people in the area who lost them in February of last year.
The demonstrators were also drawing attention to the fact that services are now being reduced for more people because new guidelines are making it more difficult to qualify for supports.
Many are afraid that budget cuts will mean that they no longer would have state support to purchase life-saving medications.
The state has cut 90,000 Oregonians from the Oregon Health Plan to cut costs. Since then, there have been a number of news reports of people that have died because they could not afford the medications they needed.
Organizers of Tuesday's rally presented Don Bruland, director of Senior and Disability Services for the Rogue Valley Council of Governments, with a list of 10 "basic demands". The petition seeks restoration of services to levels that existed before the cuts of 2003, along with restoration of Oregon Health Plan benefits for thousands of people who lost those services during the past two years, the Mail Tribune reported.
Bruland said he would let send the protesters' request for a meeting to Department of Human Services officials in Salem.
"Marchers protest service cuts to disabled" (Mail Tribune)