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ADAPT Marchers In DC Demanding End To "Stolen Lives"
By Dave Reynolds, Inclusion Daily Express
March 18, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC--Hundreds of disability rights activists from ADAPT are meeting in the nation's capital March 20-25 to draw attention to changes needed in how Medicaid pays for long-term care supports.

The demonstrators want Senate Finance Committee Chair Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and Ranking Democrat Max Baucus (D-Montana) to hold hearings on S. 971, otherwise known as MiCASSA, the Medicaid Community-Based Attendant Services and Supports Act, and S.1394, the Money Follows the Person Act.

MiCASSA would change the bias within Medicaid that currently gives nearly 75 percent of long-term care funds to nursing homes and other institutions rather than in-home supports. The measure was first introduced into Congress by House Speaker Newt Gingrich in 1997 and has been reintroduced nearly every year since.

The Money Follows the Person Act would give money to states to help transition people from institutions to community-based supports. It was introduced into the Senate last July.

In a media statement, ADAPT organizer Bob Kafka said that Congress and the President are allowing too many Americans to be "denied the freedom we say we are fighting for around the world because those people are forced into nursing homes and other institutions".

Many of the advocates involved in the campaign are people who have "been freed from institutional settings to enjoy typical lives in the community," the statement said.

S. 971: "Medicaid Community-Based Attendant Services and Supports Act" (Association of University Centers on Disabilities)
S.1394: "Money Follows The Person Act of 2003" (Association of University Centers on Disabilities)
ADAPT (American Disabled For Attendant Programs Today)

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