Disability News /KLKC
Parsons, Ks – The 2nd floor conference room at the SKIL Resource Center in downtown Parsons was filled Wednesday morning for a “My Medicaid Matters” rally. A similar event was held at the same time in Washington, D.C.. Both rallies were organized by ADAPT, a National Disability Rights Advocacy Organization in an effort to keep state and federal lawmakers from making drastic cuts to services that help seniors, people with disabilities, mothers and children. Each state administers its own Medicaid program but must meet federal guidelines since 60% of the funding comes from the U.S. Government. SEK ADAPT member Leighann Spilman introduced Southeast Kansas Representative Bob Grant of Frontenac who was described as a Champion of Medicaid. Grant said Medicaid is needed to take care of kids, the elderly and disabled. According to Spilman, half of all Americans have a personal connection to Medicaid and 60% of Americans want to keep Medicaid programs. Several individuals spoke at the Parsons rally about how they depend on Medicaid for themselves or family members to get care at home, instead of in an institutional setting. One of the speakers used to work as a Personal Care Attendant. She is now paralyzed from the waist down and said Medicaid gives her security and a good support system. Another lady is employed through the Working Healthy Program and pays $55 a month to keep her Medicaid benefits. Others talked about how Medicaid helps them or their children get medicine and medical services they could not otherwise afford. Shari Coatney, a disability advocate and CEO of the SKIL Resource Center urged those in attendance to call members of the Congressional Super Committee, which is charged with reducing government spending. People in Kansas are asked to call 866-324-3787 and leave a message for Michigan Representatives Dave Camp and Fred Upton to voice support for Medicaid services.