With members of Congress back in their home states during August, a group from The Arc of Opportunity was able to attend Senator Markey’s public event in Springfield, MA and show their gratitude for his vote to protect Medicaid. The group showed up in bright orange “Disability Rights Are Human Rights” t-shirts and buttons and were definitely seen and at the end of the event, Senator Markey stayed an extra hour so the group could also be heard! Monica, Donald, Andrea and Mike all spoke over the microphone to the crowd and expressed how massive cuts to Medicaid would have threatened their lives and independence as well as the other 10 million people with disabilities living in the United States.
For decades, the disability community and bipartisan Congressional leaders have worked together to ensure that adults and children with disabilities have access to health care and home and community-based services under Medicaid that allow them to live, work and receive an education in the community. People with disabilities rely on Medicaid for personal care services, specialized therapies, intensive mental health services, special education related services, and other needed services that are unavailable through private insurance.
Simply put, cuts to Medicaid and reduced access to private health insurance under the Health Care Freedom Act would have put the lives and independence of people with disabilities on the line. Greatly reduced federal contributions to Medicaid would have imperiled our state’s program, risking participant’s health and potentially forcing a return to outdated modes of serving people with disabilities, such as institutional care and segregated services. In addition, harmful changes to the private insurance market would have rendered health care unaffordable and out of reach for millions of people with disabilities and their families across the country, including here in Massachusetts.
Thank You Senator Markey!