Sunday, July 30, 2017

Let's Not Ignore the Real Heroes Who Saved Our Health Care System from Total Ruin @alternet

Let's Not Ignore the Real Heroes Who Saved Our Health Care System from Total Ruin @alternet:

"What all this media coverage ignores is the tireless and determined organizing of activist groups against the bill. If anyone is to be heralded a hero for saving the ACA, it’s the activists from ADAPT, a disability rights organization, who have been on the front lines fighting for their right to health care. The primary factor driving ADAPT organizers and disability rights activists is the need to protect Medicaid, a program that has helped an estimated 10 million disabled people and counting, according to Kaiser Family Foundation. With both the House and Senate’s health care bills proposing drastic cuts to Medicaid, people with disabilities are particularly vulnerable. “Medicaid is a lifeline for us,” said Laura Halvorson, a member of the DC Metro ADAPT chapter. “It gives us our life and liberty.” ADAPT activists, ranging in age from parents with younger children to the elderly, held about 40 protests, rallies and sit-ins this week and over the past few months to pressure the lawmakers working to strip health care away from millions of people. These demonstrations took place in legislative offices on Capitol Hill as well as representatives' local offices across the country, the message ringing loud and clear. Protesters were often met with aggressive police presence. A "die-in” protest organized by ADAPT on June 22 to commemorate the 18th anniversary of the Supreme Court decision in Olmstead v. LC—which affirmed the rights of the disabled to live in communities instead of institutions—outside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s office led to the arrests of 43 people. Footage from reporters on the scene shows officers lifting individuals out of their wheelchairs to remove them from the vicinity."