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Monday, September 15, 2014
ADAPT Activists Arrested at ACHA
39 hauled off chanting: “I’d rather go to jail than to die in a nursing home.
By Tim Wheat
Thirty-nine ADAPT activists were arrested today at the American Health Care Association office in Downtown Little Rock when AHCA executives refused to talk about Community Integration and cost-saving alternatives to expensive nursing homes for Arkansas.
The action at the AHCA headquarters followed a successful visit to the Capitol office of Governor Mike Bebe. ADAPT activists filled the Governor's reception room and Brenda Stinebuck presented each demand to the governor surrounded by about seventy ADAPT activists. The governor told the group that he supported the Community First Choice Option.
"I am excited about what the governor said to us," stated Brenda Stinebuck, an ADAPT organizer from Arkansas. "For him to publicly say that he supports the Community First Choice Option makes me really happy."
Following the meeting with the Governor, ADAPT activists paused and had lunch on the Capitol steps. At 2:00 in the afternoon ADAPT made its way single-file one block to the office of the American Health Care Association, the lobby for the Nursing Home Industry. Nearly two-hundred people moved into the office quietly.
Once inside the activists asked to meet with the AHCA Executive Director to talk about Arkansas implementing cost-saving ideas and the Community First Choice Option. AHCA continued to refuse to simply talk about CFCO. Medicaid reform and reason are not on ACHA’s side as the nursing home lobby works to keep public funds flowing into the fifty year old program and opposing Medicaid cost-saving reforms.
ADAPT began to chant and clog-up the office demanding to meet with executives of the industry lobby. The Little Rock Police were called but ADAPT would not leave without meeting with AHCA. The Police and activists tried to get AHCA to talk, but the lobby will not budge. Eventually 39 ADAPT activists are arrested.
At one point a police officer was off in a side room with a handful of activists. He said that getting arrested would not solve anything. The officer said that he didn't understand our tactics and that he didn't feel that ADAPT would be effective. He said the buses were on their way and would simply take us all to jail.
Dorothy of Pennsylvania asked the officer: “Are those buses accessible?”
"Yes ma’am,” said the officer proudly. “Those buses will be fully accessible.”
“Well,” said Dorothy who was arrested for the first time, “we did that.”