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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Fighting Trumpcare

In The Politics of Autism, I discuss Medicaid services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, as well as other government programs at the federal and state levels.

People with disabilities and their families have pushed back against Trumpcare.  Their protests have impact because the public tends to have more sympathy for the disabled than for able-bodied program recipients.

Jeff Stein at Vox:
“I think the concern of citizens generally has made an impact on me, yeah. Obviously, I get it a lot of feedback from the other side, too, in editorials and newspapers like the Wall Street Journal attacking me,” said Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), one of the crucial swing votes on the bill. “And then you have the protesters on the other side ... those voices are heard, absolutely.”
It’s hard to keep an exact tally of the flurry of health care activism since Republicans took control of Congress. Daily Action, one progressive group, reported 200,000 calls — which, when added together, would stretch to a combined 495 days of call times — to Senate GOP offices over the health bill. Dozens of activists with disabilities have been arrested at sit-insprotesting Medicaid cuts throughout the country.
More than 400 protesters have been arrested in the Capitol alone over the past three weeks, including the NAACP’s William Barber. Activists have chartered planes to fly anti-TrumpCare banners in West Virginia and Ohio; others have driven anti-TrumpCare tractors or launched cross-state bus tours.
In Fort Wayne, Brian Francisco reports at The Journal-Gazette:
About 40 people played dead for one minute Tuesday outside the E. Ross Adair Federal Building and U.S. Courthouse downtown.
Holding paper replicas of tombstones, they lay down on the plaza in front of the building to silently protest Republican efforts in Congress to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Rowan Greene, dressed as the Grim Reaper, walked among the reposing crowd.
Their demonstration – organized by Indivisible, Fort Wayne Liberation Movement and United Activists of Fort Wayne – was aimed at a tenant of the federal building: Sen. Todd Young, R-Ind., who has not said how he will vote on the Better Care Reconciliation Act.

Susan Catterall of Hamilton, a mother of two adult children with autism, said people with disabilities are at risk of losing medical care if Congress curbs state Medicaid expansions created by the Affordable Care Act. She said Indiana's expanded Medicaid program, known as Healthy Indiana Plan 2.0, has drastically cut the waiting time for people enrolling in home services for autism and developmental disabilities.
“This is the United States of America. We are capable of taking care of the disabled, the poor and the elderly,” Catterall shouted to the crowd.