People with disbilities fight for their lives

Sep 15 2011
Anne Scheetz

On Wednesday, September 21, Chicago single-payer activists will join local disability rights activists in a Rally to Protect Our Medicaid at Federal Plaza, from noon to 1:00 pm. Other activists will gather in Washington DC to demonstrate against cuts to Medicaid services for people with disabilities and seniors by the Congressional Super Committee. The Chicago rally is organized by the Task Force on Attendant Services at Access Living.

Illinois disability rights activists have no choice but to fight to retain what Medicaid benefits exist, at the same time that they are only too aware of Medicaid's serious limitations. In the collar counties around Cook, people with disabilities have been forced to choose one of two for-profit HMO's, with resulting disruption of their care networks, denial of medications and necessary prodecures, emergency room visits due to inability to obtain timely out-patient care, and other consequences to their lives.

NBC News Chicago carried the story of paralyzed athlete Rasul "Rocky" Clark, no longer able to go for care to Ingalls Hospital since he was assigned to an HMO. Most cases of course do not make the news.

Any disabled person adversely affected by this forced enrollment in a for-profit HMO is encouraged to contact her or his local Center for Independent Living.

Under a single-payer health program, people with disabilities would not be segregated into a separate program for the poor. Everyone would have access to all necessary health care, without financial barriers.

Everybody in, nobody out!

One nation, one health plan!

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