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Thread: Good News from ADAPT

  1. #1
    Senior Member TimN's Avatar
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    Good News from ADAPT

    Hundreds of advocates attended yesterday's hearing on the institutional bias, an overflow room was required to hold everyone. There were folks from Connecticut, Delaware, DC, FL, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, NY, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington state.

    Many of the Senators themselves, as well as staff, were in attendance at the hearing thanks to YOUR work!

    Senator Grassley, the Chair made opening remarks about the need to end the institutional bias, and Senator Baucus, Ranking Minority member did too, as well as a couple of other committee members.

    Senator Harkin spoke eloquently about both his bills, S. 971 MiCASSA ( http://www.adapt.org/casaintr.htm ) and S. 1394 Money Follows the Person ( http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c108:S.1394: ). He spoke about how we had passed the ADA but had left this important piece to be done. He spoke of the fact that while the hearing was terrific, we need to act to pass this important legislation now.

    Dennis Smith, Director of Medicaid, outlined the Administration's bill which includes Money Following the Person, as well as several other initiatives regarding family caregivers, recruiting direct care workers and more.

    Carol Novak represented the National Council on Disability, and she outlined many of the costs of maintaining the current institutional bias and the need for change.

    Ray Gerke, Iowa Olmstead Real Choices Consumer Task Force, who as a young person lived in an institution and then got out again to live with his family, spoke about the contrasts in his life before and after, and how the institution had terrible effects on his life.

    Bruce Darling of ADAPT and Director of the independent living center the Center for Disability Rights, represented those who have been working to help folks move out of nursing homes and other institutions. He eloquently outlined the need for change, the impact on people's lives, and the solutions: money follows the person and MiCASSA. He also emphasized the time for action and change is NOW!!!!

    Also testifying were representatives of family caregivers (Jan Moss) and direct care workers (Di Findley, Executive Director, Iowa Caregivers Association, Des Moines, IA), who spoke about the need for respite and the need to improve benefits for direct care workers.

    Several of the Senators, including Binghamen of NM, Baucus of MT, Jeffords of VT, as well as Grassley of IA asked important questions. Senator Lincoln of AR asked about cash and counseling and Senator Graham of FL asked about funding for the Medicare prescription drug bill.

    After Harkin testified he came down to visit with the people in the overflow room and then went back to his office for a little while. He returned for the press conference after the hearing and said that he had gotten calls from several Senators regarding cosponsoring his bills (MiCASSA and Money Follow the Person)!

    After the hearing the National Council on Independent Living ( http://www.ncil.org ) hosted a press conference. Advocates also made visits to their Senators and Representatives after the hearing.

    YOU can still submit written testimony to the Finance Committee for 2 weeks, please do so. The Senators and their staff were clearly affected by the strong presence and interest in the topic. Send it to

    1. Senate Committee on Finance
    Att: Editorial and Document Section
    Rm. SD-203
    Dirksen Senate Office Bldg.
    Washington, D.C. 20510-6200

    2. Include the

    -Hearing Date: April 7, 2004
    -Topic: "Money Follows the Person"

    3. At the top of each page put Page #, Senate Finance Committee, Testimony of (Your Name), "Money Follows the Person."
    4. Limited it to 10-pages or less.
    5. Put who it's from

    KEEP contacting the Senate Finance Committee and your Congressional Representatives; thank them for the hearing and ask them to pass MiCASSA (S. 971) and Money Follows the Person (S.1394) in 2004. Contact information is available at http://www.vote-smart.org

    SENATE FINANCE COMMITTEE, alpha by State

    Senator Blanche Lincoln AR, 202/224-4843
    Senator Jon Kyl AZ, 202/224-4521
    Senator Bob Graham FL, 202/224-3041
    Senator Charles Grassley (IA), Chairperson 202/224-3744
    Senator Jim Bunning KY, 202/224-4343
    Senator John Breaux LA, 202/224-4623
    Senator John Kerry MA, 202/224-2742
    Senator Olympia Snowe ME, 202/224-5344
    Senator Trent Lott MS, 202/224-6253
    Senator Max Baucus (MT), Ranking Minority Member 202/224-2651
    Senator Kent Conrad ND, 202/224-2043
    Senator Jeff Bingaman NM. 202/224-5521
    Senator Don Nickles OK, 202/224-5754
    Senator Gordon Smith OR, 202/224-3753
    Senator Rick Santorum PA, 202/224-6324
    Senator Thomas Daschle SD, 202/224-2321
    Senator Bill Frist TN, 202/224-3344
    Senator Orrin G Hatch UT, 202/224-5251
    Senator Jim Jeffords VT, 202/224-5141
    Senator John D Rockefeller WV, 202/224-6472
    Senator Craig Thomas WY, 202/224-6441

  2. #2
    Junior Member
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    Location
    Hendersonville, TN 37075
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    Tim thanks so much for the info. Will certainly be contacting our Representative and The Finance Committee.

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