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Many organizations are holding rallies and fighting the Senate health bill which is proposed to replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). One group of persons, disabled members and advocates in the group ADAPT, are literally putting their lives on the line and being hauled off to jail for their sit-ins at Senator’s offices in Washington and their state offices around the country. They have taken the fight right to the Senators and proclaimed loudly and clearly that the repeal of the ACA in this bill which cuts over $800 billion dollars from Medicaid is a direct threat to their independence as well as their health. They are making it clear that cuts to Medicaid may reduce spending on home and community based services, forcing more into nursing homes which will also be cut.
They have become a very visible, in your face, reminder to members of the Senate that this bill being considered is about human beings not just some political chess move. The disabled are making it clear that they will not be pawns in this battle and they are exposing the fact that tax cuts for the wealthy are a higher priority for those pushing this bill than the health of many vulnerable people.
Many of the disability rights advocates protesting in Washington are from Rochester and other parts of New York State and they have been very vocal at the State Capitol about reforming Medicaid to make sure that community based alternatives are strengthened so that nursing homes are not the default option.
There are some who have said in the past that the tactics of groups like ADAPT are too confrontational but sometimes, the injustice at hand demands this type of action and they are reminding us what passion and advocacy are all about.