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Medicaid, The CORPD and U.S. Legislative Efforts Against Us

  • Synopsis: Published: 2011-05-06 - People with Disabilities could be forced into institutions such as nursing homes instead of receiving equivalent care in their own homes - Thomas C. Weiss.

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The proposed legislation known as the, 'Ryan Proposal,' would cut and cap discretionary spending programs that would eliminate not only housing, but jobs and volunteer opportunities.

Medicaid is an essential long-term care system that pays for home and community-based health care services as well as nursing home services. Medicaid gives greatly needed relief to family members who provide care for loved ones. Medicaid pays for around sixty-two percent of long-term care and is this nation's health care safety net for People with Disabilities, Children, Seniors, and people who are poor.

Legislators are working to cut holes in this safety net that we need.

They want to cut it by nearly $1.4 Trillion dollars. Legislation being proposed would cut Medicaid by thirty-five percent in 2022, followed by forty-nine percent; nearly half, in 2030. What these legislators want to do is turn Medicaid into a voucher contribution program that would find people on Medicaid paying nearly sixty-eight percent of the costs of insurance by the year 2030.

The proposed legislation known as the, 'Ryan Proposal,' would cut and cap discretionary spending programs that would eliminate not only housing, but jobs and volunteer opportunities. Medicaid pays for Medicare premiums for those who qualify - nearly five million people. Lacking such protections, this population simply couldn't afford Medicare services. People with Disabilities and Seniors comprise around one-fourth of those who receive Medicaid.

People who need the most care would become the largest targets of destructive cost-containment efforts, should this legislation pass. People with Disabilities could be forced into institutions such as nursing homes instead of receiving equivalent care in their own homes, in violation of the Olmstead ruling, because states put money over people. The quality standards in nursing homes may become either weakened or entirely eliminated out of efforts to save money. Health care services could very well diminish to the point of abuse.

Health care costs might reach the point where people could not possibly afford health care services.Providers would bill people, only to find they have to take them to court over unreasonable bills. People could lose everything because of health care costs, or avoid health care at every opportunity out of fear of the costs - leading to disease, disabilities, and woe. Children and spouses of People with Disabilities could very well be expected to pay the health care bills of their family members, leading to further poverty in America. Family members with disabilities may be forced into living situations that have no way to care for them, no equipment that is adequate, and family members who are unable to care for them. There are millions of People with Disabilities and Seniors who are only one health care rough spot away from a financial disaster.

The United States of America has signed The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities with great pride and fanfare. The Convention is a major shift in the attitudes and approaches to People with Disabilities, changing the way nations view and treat citizens who experience forms of disabilities. The Convention explicitly states that People with Disabilities have rights and are capable of claiming these rights, as well as capable of making decisions in regards to our own lives.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities that America signed states that all People with Disabilities must enjoy human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Convention clarifies how these rights apply to us. The proposed legislation known as the, 'Ryan Proposal,' is in direct violation of The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities America has signed. Our rights must be enforced; America has signed this convention.

Article 10 of The Convention states, "Countries are to guarantee that persons with disabilities enjoy their inherent right to life on an equal basis with others." Article 5 states that nations are to recognize that people are equal before the law and are to prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, as well as to guarantee equal legal protection. Nations such as America that have signed The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are to make sure that People with Disabilities enjoy the right to liberty, security, and are not deprived of our liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily.

Forcing People with Disabilities into institutions through cutbacks to Medicare and Medicaid is in violation of The Convention because is removes our right to liberty, security, and violates our equal protection under the law through violation of the Olmstead ruling. The Convention also states, in Article 19, that People with Disabilities must be able to live independently, are to be included in the community, and must have the ability to choose where and with whom they desire to live. The convention states that People with Disabilities are to have access to in-home, residential and community support services in this same Article 19 of The Convention.

Personal mobility and independence are to be fostered by facilitating affordable personal mobility. Training in mobility skills and access to mobility aids, devices, assistive technologies and live assistance are also guaranteed in The Convention America has signed with joy. Cutbacks to Medicaid and Medicare through the Ryan Proposal directly violates Article 19 of The Convention, giving no respect or regard to either People with Disabilities or The Convention itself.

The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities also states, in Article 28, that nations like America that have signed The Convention must recognize the right of People with Disabilities to an adequate standard of living and social protection. What this means is that America must recognize that People with Disabilities have a right to public housing, services and assistance for disability-related needs, and assistance with disability-related expenses should we experience poverty. People on Medicaid and Medicare are most certainly not wealthy in the vast and overwhelming majority of cases.

Any politician in America, Paul Ryan in particular, who does not recognize The Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and follow the rights of People with Disabilities it outlines after America has signed this Convention is a politician unworthy of office or re-election. We; as People with Disabilities, must work to ensure that our rights are upheld.

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
www.un.org/disabilities/default.aspid=150

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Rights and Dignities of People with Disabilities
Convention and Optional Protocol Signatures and Ratifications
www.un.org/disabilities/countries.aspnavid=12&pid=166



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