Disability Groups Respond to Supercommittee Failure

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

UCP Contacts:
Lauren Cozzi, 202-973-7114, 
Alicia Kubert Smith, 202-973-7168, 

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

Disability Groups Respond to Supercommittee Failure

Joint Statement by Mark Perriello of the American Association of People with Disabilities and Stephen Bennett, United Cerebral Palsy

Washington, D.C. (November 21, 2011) — “Since the Supercommittee was formed, Americans from all walks of life have spoken loud and clear: we support tangible, responsible solutions that preserve opportunity. The budget debate has moved from the Supercommittee to party leaders and back again, and has now apparently ground to a halt. Rigid adherence to ideology is again coming at the expense of every-day Americans who need their representatives to get something done. Instead of solutions, we’re left with uncertainty about the future. Today, real people who are already making do with very little are left to wonder if deficit reduction will result in opportunity reduction. Today’s news has not changed the fact that we need to protect our fiscal future and our national security while at the same time preserving essential lifelines for people with disabilities.”

Stephen Bennett is the former President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy, and Mark Perriello is the President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities.

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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LONG-TERM CARE PROGRAM SHOULD BE IMPROVED, NOT SCRAPPED

LONG-TERM CARE PROGRAM SHOULD BE IMPROVED, NOT SCRAPPED

Congress and Administration Should Make Adjustments to Make Program Financially Sound

Washington, DC (October 27, 2011) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) and The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) oppose efforts in Congress to repeal the CLASS Act (the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act).  At a hearing yesterday the Assistant Secretary for Aging Kathy Greenlee committed to providing Congress with information on the changes in the CLASS Act law that would enable the Administration to design a program that would be financially sound. UCP and AAPD call upon Congress and the Administration to get to work and make the CLASS Act’s benefits available to the millions of people who need them.

“President Obama should veto any legislation that would repeal the CLASS Act. Instead, the President should urge Congress to make it work. Scrapping the program would be unacceptable. America has a long-term care crisis that we must solve. The CLASS program would make long-term care insurance accessible. Without it, millions of Americans will be unable to afford care they need,” said Mark Perriello, President of the American Association of People with Disabilities.

We should strengthen, not weaken, our country’s safety net. People with disabilities are already struggling. Many states are cutting back Medicaid benefits and it will get much worse if Congress slashes Medicaid funding in the name of deficit reduction,” said Stephen Bennett, former President and CEO of United Cerebral Palsy

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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Statement of Values: The Supercommittee Must Engage in Debt Reduction—Not Opportunity Reduction

Stephen Bennett and Mark Perriello
Thursday, September 8, 2011

The debt reduction Supercommittee will hold its first meeting on September 8. As they prepare to start their work, Americans of every background and political orientation are looking to these 12 elected representatives to set aside political gamesmanship and produce a plan that reflects both our nation’s urgent needs and its core values. To accomplish this, the Supercommittee must preserve Medicaid, which provides millions of Americans with disabilities the tools to remain healthy and participate in our communities.

Like all Americans, people with disabilities—and our families and supporters—understand that this nation faces tough fiscal choices. Balancing our budget on the backs of Americans who are already living at the margins is not a viable choice. We stand ready to work with the Supercommittee to formulate a plan that reflects our American values of opportunity, fairness, and basic dignity for all.

We believe:

  • In the deficit-reduction process, we must preserve Medicaid for the people whom it offers a vital lifeline.
  • The eight million Americans with disabilities who use Medicaid cannot be forgotten. They are brothers and sisters, neighbors, friends and community volunteers.
  • Medicaid provides many Americans the tools they need to participate fully in community life. Without Medicaid, many Americans would be forced to leave their homes and live in institutions—at greater expense to taxpayers.
  • Deficit reduction must not result in opportunity reduction for any American: our budget must preserve the critical health and long-term care initiatives that enable eight million persons with disabilities to remain healthy, participate in their communities and live up to their potential.
  • America can and must make good on its promise of opportunity for all. Abandoning people in these difficult economic times is tantamount to abandoning our belief in America’s promise of opportunity.
  • We cannot balance the budget on the backs of Americans who are living at the margins already: those now eligible to receive services must not lose the services on which they rely.
  • We can balance the budget by being smart and strategic—without denying basic human dignity to the Americans for whom Medicaid is working. We can and must look for cost savings by ensuring that initiatives are operating as efficiently as possible.
  • We must make every effort to reduce the costs of Medicaid without compromising the ability of recipients to live full and meaningful lives.
  • We must make every effort and maximize all available resources, including new technologies, to reduce the cost of Medicaid without impairing the quality of the services provided.
  • Given these important considerations, we are interested in working with policy makers on identifying productive ways to address our nation’s economic rebalancing.

 

We call upon the members of the Supercommittee to reduce our debt without compromising our values, and we welcome the opportunity to work with you on responsible, common-sense responses to our nation’s fiscal challenges.

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Stephen Bennett is the former President & CEO of United Cerebral Palsy

Mark Perriello is President & CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities.

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Visit ucp.org/public-policy/america-s-super-committee for additional information.

Contacts:

Lauren Cozzi, 202-973-7114, LCozzi@ucp.org
Alicia Kubert Smith, 202-973 7168, akubertsmith@ucp.org