Tuesday, March 21, 2017

MCIL asks Congress to preserve disability aspects of the ACA

For more information:
Sandi Klink 901-726-6404

The Memphis Center for Independent Living today called on Sen. Lamar Alexander to preserve critical components of the Affordable Care Act which secure the rights of people with disabilities to live in the community and provide vital healthcare services.  MCIL is joining disability rights organizations, the National Council on Independent Living and Centers for Independent Living all over the US in asking that Congress keep items necessary for the independence of people with disabilities.

“The Center has a long history of supporting people with disabilities right to live and work in the community like everyone else,” said Sandi Klink the Executive Director of the Memphis Center for Independent Living. “The loss of these programs will hit Tennessee taxpayers harder. We hate to see the dissolution of the common-sense programs in the healthcare law that will force people back into expensive institutions.”

Congressional Republicans are moving legislation that eliminates the Community First Choice Option (CFCO) by 2020 as part of a strategy to cut Medicaid funding for individuals with disabilities. CFCO, which was introduced as part of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) provides enhanced Federal funds to states, is the only current Medicaid program aimed at ensuring people with disabilities’ right to live in the community. CFCO saves states millions of taxpayer dollars and grant disabled citizens the freedom to decide where they want to live.

The concern is that in capping or block granting Medicaid congressional Republicans are setting limits on how many people with disabilities can transition from institutions into the community, and eliminating CFCO restores the Medicaid bias toward institutionalization that MCIL and the Disability Community has long fought to reverse.

The right to live in the community was first recognized in Federal law in the Supreme Court’s 1999 Olmstead case. The years since have seen the growth of centers for independent living as Disability Rights organizations have made community integration one of their primary concerns.

WHEN: 3:00 P.M. Wednesday, March 22, 2017
WHERE: 1633 Madison Ave. Memphis, TN 38104