Representatives from Interfaith Religious Community & Disability Organizations Host Web Chat Discussing Importance of Medicaid for People with Disabilities

Media Advisory

Contacts:
UCP: Lauren Cozzi, 202-973-7114, & Alicia Kubert Smith, 202-973-7168, AAPD: Lara Schwartz, 202-521-4309, lschwartz@aapd.com

Representatives from Interfaith Religious Community & Disability Organizations Host Web Chat Discussing Importance of Medicaid for People with Disabilities

Washington, DC (November 8, 2011) – the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), and the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC) – a diverse, nonpartisan coalition of religious and religiously affiliated organizations whose core spiritual values affirm the rights and dignity of people with disabilities – will host a public web chat to discuss current deficit reduction strategies while representing a broad cross-section of the nation’s various faith traditions on Thursday, November 10 at 1:30 p.m. EST.

As the US Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “Supercommittee”) continues to deliberate and craft proposals concerning the federal budget, it is important that the voices of the faith community be a vibrant part of the national conversation. Americans of many faiths support policies and programs that promote independence and dignity for people with disabilities. Medicaid is a tool that enables millions of Americans with disabilities to enjoy these freedoms, including contributing to their communities, families and congregations.

Participating IDAC members will share their unique perspectives about why Medicaid must be preserved for people with disabilities. The public can engage in the web chat by submitting questions to interfaithchat@aapd.com and logging in to engage in the conversation.

 WHO:            Hosted by AAPD, UCP & IDAC. Participants include Mark Perriello,
                        AAPD President and CEO; Khizer Husain of American Muslim Health
                        Professionals; and the following IDAC members:

  • Meg Cooch, Director of Policy and Advocacy, Lutheran Services in America Disability Network, “When thinking about deficit reduction and balancing the budget, we must apply our faith values to possible proposals. Medicaid allows people with disabilities the opportunity to be full participants in our society by providing critical services and job supports.”
  • David Feinman, Senior Legislative Associate, the Jewish Federations of North America, “Considering the challenges the ‘Supercommittee’ and the rest of the Congress face coming to a consensus on most issues, it is critical that they hear from people who want to have a constructive conversation.” 
  • Maggie Mitchell Siddiqi, Islamic Society of North America, “In Islam, we are instructed to protect the dignity of every human being and provide help for those in need. As a Muslim, I believe in the importance of preserving safety net programs like Medicaid, which help people maintain their dignity and self-sufficiency.”
  • Khizer Husain, Member, Task Force on Health Affordability, American Muslim Health Professionals, “My faith compels me to advocate for the neediest, particularly if it involves sacrifice.”


WHAT:         
Web Chat: Protecting Medicaid Across Faith Lines for People                
                       with Disabilities

WHEN:         Thursday, November 10, 2011 at 1:30 p.m. EST

WHERE:       http://bit.ly/smog5m

EMAIL:         Anyone may submit questions to interfaithchat@aapd.com

To learn more about AAPD and UCP’s joint efforts to ensure quality healthcare and access to care, please visit America’s Supercommittee at www.ucp.org/public-policy/america-s-super-committee.

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visitwww.ucp.org.

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation’s largest cross-disability organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. Visit www.AAPD.com for more information. 

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Disability Groups Emphasize Need for Quality Care & Access to Care, in Lead Up to the Congressional Supercommittee Hearing about Debt Reduction Plans on Tuesday

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UCP Contacts:
Lauren Cozzi, 202-973-7114, lcozzi@ucp.org
Alicia Kubert Smith, 202-973-7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org

AAPD Contacts:
Lara Schwartz, 202-521-4309, lschwartz@aapd.com
Frankie Mastrangelo, 202-521-4308, fmastrangelo@aapd.com

Disability Groups Emphasize Need for Quality Care & Access to Care, in Lead Up to the Congressional Supercommittee Hearing about Debt Reduction Plans
on Tuesday

The Supercommittee decision cannot only be about saving money;
it must be about ensuring access to quality care

Washington, DC (November 1, 2011) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) oppose some measures in the previously-released deficit reduction proposals, which will be discussed at a hearing of the Supercommittee on Tuesday, November 1 at 1:30 p.m. ET. Former Senator Alan Simpson and Erskine Bowles of The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, Dr. Alice Rivlin and Former Senator Pete Domenici of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Debt Reduction Task Force are scheduled to testify.

“Changes to Medicaid in the Simpson-Bowles and Rivlin-Dominici proposals would put Americans with disabilities at risk. We urge Members of Congress and the Administration to stand firm against any measures that would jeopardize those with disabilities,” said Stephen Bennett, former UCP President & CEO.

“Medicaid provides me with in-home personal care services so I can choose to live in my home instead of an institution. Members of Congress must keep the millions of Americans like me in mind as they determine the fate of Medicaid,” said Robert Coward, a quadriplegic and member of a shadow Supercommittee — called “America’s Supercommittee” — established by UCP and AAPD to put a human face on Medicaid.

“Reducing access to care for Americans is not an option, but that doesn’t mean that we can’t reduce costs,” said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello. “To reduce costs without limiting eligibility, we need to ensure that programs are operating efficiently. Some of the proposals being considered today place too much of the cost-cutting burden on people with disabilities,” he added.

The Bowles-Simpson commission plan proposes repealing or reforming the CLASS Act, which establishes a voluntary program for workers to purchase long-term care insurance and supports. UCP and AAPD oppose repeal and urge members of Congress to reject any attempts to do so.

One proposal would require persons eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare to enlist in managed care programs. Many managed care programs have had success. Not all programs are equal, however. An acceptable plan will employ the best practices used by effective managed care plans and ensure that individuals have access to providers and quality care.

UCP and AAPD favor changes to save money in the Medicaid program that don’t adversely impact recipients, such as reducing prescription drug costs and enabling more people with disabilities to stay in their homes instead of costlier nursing homes. While both of the previous debt reduction plans being highlighted at the hearing contain measures opposed by UCP and AAPD, the organizations endorse the proposal in the Bowles-Simpson commission plan to extend the Medicaid drug rebate to those individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid.

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation’s largest cross-disability organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. Visit www.AAPD.com for more information.

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UNITED CEREBRAL PALSY AND AMERICAN ASSOCIATION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES INTRODUCE AMERICA’S SUPERCOMMITTEE

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UCP Contacts:
Lauren Cozzi, 202-973-7114, lcozzi@ucp.org
Alicia Kubert Smith, 202-973 7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org

AAPD Contacts:
Lara Schwartz, 202-521-4309, lschwartz@aapd.com
Frankie Mastrangelo, 202-521-4308, fmastrangelo@aapd.com

United Cerebral Palsy and American Association of People with Disabilities Introduce America’s Supercommittee

Engaged Citizens Work to Preserve Medicaid by Sharing Stories,Encouraging Participation

Washington, D.C. – (September 21, 2011) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) introduce America’s Supercommittee, a group of six engaged citizens who are lending their voices to the fight to preserve Medicaid. Over the next two months, the United States Congress Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction (the “Supercommittee”), composed of six senators and six members of the U.S. House of Representatives, will deliberate and craft proposals concerning the federal budget. They are likely to recommend trillions of dollars of spending cuts, and could recommend major cuts to Medicaid. UCP, AAPD and the disability community, including our families, friends, and supporters, are engaged in a campaign to preserve Medicaid, which provides millions of Americans with disabilities the tools to remain healthy and participate in our communities.

America’s Supercommittee members will share their perspectives on the importance of Medicaid and personal stories, in an effortto educate the public, the media, and Congress about preserving Medicaid.   The public is encouraged to send questions and also share personalperspectives and stories at the America’s Supercommittee website, http://ucp.org/public-policy/america-s-super-committee. The site contains information about how to contact members of Congress, and information about the congressional Super committee’s meetings and deliberations.

The members of America’s Supercommittee are:

  • Robert Coward, Washington, DC: An Air Force veteran and DC native, Robert Coward has advised federal and local officials on accessibility and health care. “Medicaid offers people with disabilities real freedom and choices. The quality health care Medicaid provides allows us to live in our communities and lead independent lives.”
  • Richard Donovan, New York, New York: Rich Donovan is Managing Partner and principal owner of IPS, a strategic consultancy that works with business and government to create value in the disability marketplace. Donovan also acts as Chief Investment Officer of WingSail Capital, a new investment management firm that uses a disability lens to find outperformance in global markets. “The world of disability has changed since 1950, and legacy programs like Medicaid must adapt to those changes. Society has an opportunity to use this moment of focus on fiscal sustainability to reshape programs that aren’t delivering on promises to position people with disabilities to deliver the value inherent within them.
  • ”David Feinman, Washington, DC: David Feinman is Senior Legislative Associate for The Jewish Federations of North America. He is a member of the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition Steering Committee. “Considering the challenges the “Super Committee” and the rest of the Congress face coming to a consensus on most issues, it is critical that they hear from people who want to have a constructive conversation.”
  • Jessica Norwood, Stow, Ohio:  Jessica Norwood is working toward her bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Kent State University. She also works as an office aide at two child development centers. Medicaid provides Jessica with a personal aide who assists her with driving, college work, and tasks at home. She participates in a program that connects parents of people with disabilities and adults who have disabilities. “I want you to understand that including people with disabilities in our communities benefits everyone.  Medicaid helps so many people to live fully in our communities and contribute,” said Norwood.
  • German Parodi, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania:  “Without Medicaid, I wouldn’t be able to go to college, work, and be a contributing member of my community. This is about our basic civil rights—the right to be free and to live full lives.”
  • Amelia Wallrich, Chicago, Illinois:  Amelia Wallrich attends Northwestern University Law School.Previously, she attended the University of Illinois and completed an internship with Senator Richard Durbin. Wallrich explains, “Our country’s financial stability doesn’t have to be at odds with genuine reform and making people’s lives better.”

“Americans with disabilities and their families are relying on Supercommittee legislators to preserve Medicaid’s vital lifeline which allows eight million people to participate in community life, remain healthy and live to their potential–American values of opportunity, fairness and dignity,” said Stephen Bennett, former United Cerebral Palsy President & Chief Executive Officer. “The Supercommittee will compromise American values if it cuts Medicaid’s critical health and long-term care initiatives, upon which those now eligible rely, thus forcing people to leave their homes and live in institutions—at greater expense to taxpayers.”

“We have to let our elected leaders know that we are watching and they are accountable to us,” said AAPD President and CEO Mark Perriello. “The real Americans on America’s Supercommittee are sending a clear message:  our leaders must not erode the opportunities that Medicaid provides millions of Americans with disabilities. Members of Congress are going to hear from thousands more people just like them, and they need to listen,” he added.

About United Cerebral Palsy
United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.
 
About The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
“The American Association of People with Disabilities is the nation’s largest cross-disability organization. We promote equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. Our members, including people with disabilities and our family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change.” Visit www.AAPD.com for more information.

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