ARE ABOUT TO BE DISMANTLED
I have been in close contact with The Arc of the United States since the election learning as much as I could on the impact of the national elections. On Wednesday, The Arc of the United States hosted a call about what we can expect now that the elections are concluded, appointments being made and what we might expect regarding disability policy/services. The picture is inexact, yet extremely disconcerting.
The new Congress will take over on January 4, 2017 and President Elect Trump assumes the Presidency on January 20th. Now, the Republicans control the House, Senate and Presidency and they are in a new role to produce and govern. We are expecting very quick actions, as soon as January 4th, which can dismantle our entire adult system for people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities. Plans and proposals to do so have been in place for years targeting entitlement programs.
It is no secret that the President Elect, the Senate President and the Speaker of the House have stated positions to block grant Medicaid which is the lifeline of our community system here in Illinois. Medicaid funds 50% of community living, employment services, day services, home-based services and ICFDD’s and other institutional services to name a few. That match will go away under a block grant, threatening an already underfunded disability system here in Illinois and that is only the beginning.
Also on the chopping block are the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Supplemental Security Income (SSI) both the children’s and adult program, the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), the American’s with Disability Act (ADA) and Medicare.
The Arc’s priorities are to prevent cuts to these important services/supports and we will be working in coalition with many national disability and human service organizations in Washington D.C. But we need your individual commitment and advocacy.
December is our time to organize our grassroots efforts like never before. We need to be ready to respond to ACTION ALERTS at a moment’s notice because we expect proposals to be introduced and acted upon within 24 hours, leaving little time for debate or grassroots response!
What you can do is to join the Disability Advocacy Network and make a commitment to take immediate action when our services are threatened in Washington D.C.
Never before in my career have the dangers to our disability system been so real and so severe. Everything is at stake. We need you to fight to save our lifeline!
Join the Disability Advocacy Network and recruit other advocates to do the same.
We shall overcome!
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423