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Category: Advocacy

Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill Introduced

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

Graham-Cassidy Healthcare Bill Introduced
From http://www.advocacymonitor.com/

This Wednesday, Senators Lindsay Graham (R-SC) and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) introduced the Graham-Cassidy-Heller-Johnson (GCHJ) proposal (PDF), the Republicans’ last-ditch effort to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and make major cuts to Medicaid.

Like the previous bills we’ve seen, the GCHJ proposal would eliminate coverage and protections for millions while completely decimating Medicaid. The proposal would repeal the ACA individual and employer mandates, eliminate assistance that makes coverage affordable, revoke protections for people with pre-existing conditions, phase out Medicaid expansion, and dramatically cut Medicaid by imposing per capita caps. Just like the other bills, the GCHJ proposal will be devastating for people with disabilities.

NCIL is closely monitoring the progress of the GCHJ proposal, and we will be sending out a targeted action alert next week with more information for constituents of key Republican Senators. In the meantime, call your Republican Senators NOW and urge them to oppose the GCHJ proposal!

You can reach your Senators by calling the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 or (202) 224-3091 (TTY). New tools are available at trumpcaretoolkit.org. You can also use Resistbot to have your texts turned into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters; use faxzero.com to fax your Senators for free; or contact them via social media. You can find social media contacts on Contacting Congress.

FEMA Meeting Announcement

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 PIERPONT COMMUNITY & TECHNICAL COLLEGE 1201 Locust Avenue Ruth Ann Musick Library,  RM# MMA 304-816-0658 Tuesday, September 19, 2017 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Open to public, people with disabilities, and disaster survivors The meeting is open to all people with a disability, including staffers from CILs. FEMA will provide American Sign Language Specialists (ASLS), and a Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART). The purpose of this meeting is to provide information on disaster assistance and the registration process to increase knowledge for future disasters. In addition, learn how the disability community can play a role in Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs) by providing their expertise and community resources.
SEPTEMBER 19, 2017 PIERPONT COMMUNITY & TECHNICAL COLLEGE 1201 Locust Avenue Ruth Ann Musick Library, RM# MMA 304-816-0658 Tuesday, September 19, 2017 5:00 PM – 7:00 PM Open to public, people with disabilities, and disaster survivors The meeting is open to all people with a disability, including staffers from CILs. FEMA will provide American Sign Language Specialists (ASLS), and a Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART). The purpose of this meeting is to provide information on disaster assistance and the registration process to increase knowledge for future disasters. In addition, learn how the disability community can play a role in Long Term Recovery Groups (LTRGs) by providing their expertise and community resources.

House Judiciary Committee Approved H.R. 620

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

On Thursday, September 7, 2017, the House Judiciary Committee held a markup of H.R. 620, the ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017. The bill was voted out of committee along party lines and will now go to the full House for a vote. All of the amendments proposed by democrats were voted down, also along party lines.

“…The bill would weaken the protections afforded us under the Americans with Disabilities Act and make it even harder to enforce our rights under the ADA. Twenty seven years after the passage of the ADA, the fact that Congress is working to make it easier to discriminate against people with disabilities is shameful.”

Read more: The Advocacy Monitor.

Introducing Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

Do you want to feel safer and more secure in your daily life?  Would you like to learn how to reduce your risk of being exposed to possible harm in various areas of your life?  If you answered, “Yes,” we are excited to tell you we are offering the Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program as part of our services here at Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living. If you join us in the Our Lives Program, you will work in direct one-on-one partnership with a specially trained Our Lives NWVCIL advocate to identify areas of vulnerability you might have in your life now, and to develop safety plans and strategies to reduce your harm profile and increase your ability to live as Safe and Strong as you can.  The “Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program” is a collaborative project with Portland State University. For more information or to enroll with the Morgantown office, please contact Paulette or Dustin at 304-296-6091. To enroll with the Elkins office, please contact Brenda or Tiffany at 304-636-0143.
Do you want to feel safer and more secure in your daily life? Would you like to learn how to reduce your risk of being exposed to possible harm in various areas of your life? If you answered, “Yes,” we are excited to tell you we are offering the Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program as part of our services here at Northern West Virginia Center for Independent Living. If you join us in the Our Lives Program, you will work in direct one-on-one partnership with a specially trained Our Lives NWVCIL advocate to identify areas of vulnerability you might have in your life now, and to develop safety plans and strategies to reduce your harm profile and increase your ability to live as Safe and Strong as you can. The “Our Lives: Safe and Strong Program” is a collaborative project with Portland State University. For more information or to enroll with the Morgantown office, please contact Paulette or Dustin at 304-296-6091. To enroll with the Elkins office, please contact Brenda or Tiffany at 304-636-0143.

Healthcare Vote Expected Next Week

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

Healthcare Vote Expected Next Week: The Fight Is Not Over!

From the National Council on Independent Living

  • The Senate released their updated version of the Better Care Reconciliation Act (PDF) yesterday, and all of our concerns remain the same. Read the Senate summary (PDF). The new version will still cut Medicaid by $772 billion, with an even more restrictive growth rate and deeper cuts starting in 2025. Fifteen million people will lose Medicaid. The bill also still eliminates the enhanced match for the Community First Choice Option, removes protections for people with pre-existing conditions, and allows waivers to eliminate essential health benefits, on top of adding a new provision to create separate insurance products for people with higher and lower health needs.
  • This new version of the bill has made NO improvements. Despite that, we’re hearing that Republicans who were undecided or even opposed to the previous version of the bill are now leaning toward voting YES. Republicans are reportedly becoming more unified around this new version, and we cannot let that happen!
  • The vote is expected to take place next week. That means that we have less than one week to fight this dangerous bill, and every single day counts. We need to make sure our Senators understand how dangerous this bill is for their constituents with disabilities. We need them to understand that we are literally fighting for our lives. And we have less than one week to make sure they hear us.

Take Action!

  • Call your Senators by dialing the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121.
  • Use Resistbot to have your texts turned into faxes, mail, or hand-delivered letters.
  • Use faxzero.com to fax your Senators for free.
  • Find your Senator’s email address, Twitter handle, and other information through Contacting Congress.
  • Please see our previous alert for additional ways to take action. Every single one of us needs to keep the pressure on our Senators! Call often, send emails, keep protesting, and Tweet at GOP Senators; take action in every way you can!
Priority Senators
We encourage everyone to reach out to their Republican Senators, but we have compiled a list of top priority Senators, including phone numbers for all of their offices, fax numbers, Twitter handles, and contact pages, as well as information for their healthcare staffers. Please utilize as many of these options as possible! If these are not your Senators, please make sure to reach out to everyone you know in their states!

Darla Ervin Writes in Charleston Gazette-Mail

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, and Public Awareness

Darla Erwin: Medicaid’s future a life/death decision to disabled (Gazette)

By Darla Erwin
 
Darla Ervin

I am — like thousands of others in West Virginia — a person with a disability. I was born with cerebral palsy and need a power wheelchair to get around. I’m also a mother, a widow, and a daughter. My handsome son, Wesley, is in the military and serves in Iraq.

Like many other people with disabilities, I have created a full life for myself: I am becoming a court-appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children; I serve on several boards for disability organizations; and I am the co-coordinator of West Virginia ADAPT, a grassroots disability rights organization.

Also like so many other people with disabilities, I am only able to live this full, active life because of Medicaid. Medicaid pays for my wheelchair, for my medications and for the attendant who helps me get up in the morning and go to bed at night. Without these supports, I would be in a nursing home. Or, I would be dead.

The current congressional proposals to fundamentally change — and slash — Medicaid leave me terrified. The home- and community-based services that Medicaid funds for me — and 13,000 other senior and disabled West Virginians — could disappear. Completely. We will be left with no choice but to abandon our jobs, our families, our volunteer work. Many of us might be forced into nursing homes. Others would have family members who quit their jobs to care for us. Still others would die.

Op-ed: Capito, most important lawmaker in America

Posted in Advocacy, Outreach, and Public Awareness

Our U.S. senator, Shelley Moore Capito, is the most important lawmaker in the country right now, as our democracy faces two questions that will define our politics for a generation.

Question 1: Will our government rip medicine from the hands of 20-plus million of its citizens?

Question 2: Who leads the Republican party?

Sen. Capito is in a unique position to answer those questions in the coming days. Her answers will define her legacy.

Capito is West Virginia’s junior senator, but her influence is real. She is a leader on the powerful Appropriations Committee and a member of Sen. Mitch McConnell’s inner circle. She was vetted for the vice presidency and hails from the state where President Donald Trump is most popular. She has spent decades cultivating relationships on both sides of the aisle.

Take Action: Proposed Medicaid Cuts

Posted in Advocacy, Disability, Outreach, and Public Awareness

Justin Dart urged us to get into politics as if our lives depended on it.”  Today, his words were never more true – or important!  The lives and liberty of disabled Americans are on the line as the US Senate considers massive cuts to Medicaid.  Join NCIL in the fight to protect Medicaid and fight for the lives and liberty of disabled Americans across the country!

TAKE ACTION:

The US Senate needs to hear from the Disability Community about the dangers of cutting $800 billion from Medicaid.  We need YOU to call Senator Capito.  Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 and asking the operator to connect you.

Message

Say: “My name is (your full name). I am a constituent of Senator (name). I am disabled and I rely on Medicaid to live independently in my community. I am calling to ask Senator (name) to vote NO on any legislation that will cap and cut Medicaid and put healthcare out of reach for millions of Americans, including the upcoming ACA repeal bill. Senator (name) has a responsibility to fight for their constituents, and that includes those of us with disabilities and pre-existing conditions. People (like me/in the disability community) rely on Medicaid for our health and independence, and converting Medicaid to a per capita cap system would be detrimental to people with disabilities in (state). If this bill is passed, I risk losing access to services that I rely on to live in my community. This is unacceptable. This is an extremely important issue to the disability community, and we are following the Senator’s actions closely. I hope we can count on the Senator to do what’s right for people with disabilities in (state) and around the country!”

It is imperative that you call now, and then do it again tomorrow, and every day after that while this legislation is still active! The entire Disability Community is depending on you to make these calls and stop this legislation from moving forward.