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Category: Advocacy

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!


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.


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.