PROTEST! Kansas ADAPT, the grassroots, disability rights organization and Poor Peoples Campaign of Kansas demand action on Medicaid Expansion!
Kansas ADAPT, the grassroots disability rights group has been fighting for expanding access to healthcare since 1992 and has been at the forefront of the fight for Medicaid expansion for the past several years. ADAPT is deeply committed to bringing health insurance to 150,00 – 200,000 people. A large proportion of the so-called “able-bodied” expansion population is, in fact, people with disabilities. We believe that many personal care attendants and support staff would also directly benefit. This workforce is vastly underpaid; making it very hard to recruit and retain staff in the community. Access to good, affordable health insurance would help to stabilize recruitment and retention of this workforce so vital for home and community services and supports.
“It is well past time for the political game-playing to end. President Wagle needs to stop the high-handed, Washington, DC-style tactics and focus on governing. She needs to support, not hinder, democracy and let the Senate vote on healthcare for the 150,000 Kansans she apparently doesn’t care about” said ADAPT member Andy Rausch of Pittsburg, KS.
“The Poor Peoples Campaign and Kansas ADAPT call on the Senate to keep its promise to the people and use its authority to go around President Wagle and pass Medicaid Expansion. Holding access to healthcare for 150,000 hostage, literally playing with people’s lives, does not represent Kansas values. Susan Wagle should be ashamed of herself” said Dillon Warren ADAPT member from Parsons.
A peaceful assembling of the people to redress grievances before their government shall occur:
Tuesday, March 10, 12:30 PM
Statehouse, 3rd Fl. Rotunda
Expand Medicaid Now!
TOPEKA, Kan.—SKIL Resource Center President/CEO Shari Coatney and SKIL staff are one of the groups participating today with Kansas ADAPT, in a peaceful protest at the Kansas Statehouse in Topeka to expand Medicaid. ADAPT, which stands for American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today, is a national grassroots disability rights organization that fights for better treatment for people with disabilities.
“It’s time to take action,” Coatney said in a telephone interview, “and demand healthcare coverage in Kansas for all of the people who have been left uninsured. Many of our personal care attendants who work through SKIL don’t have healthcare coverage. People throughout Kansas who need the healthcare services that Medicaid provides deserve to be covered, and to be covered now.”
SKIL is a multi-faceted independent living center that serves people with disabilities or those whose environment is disabling. Headquartered in Parsons, SKIL has branch offices in Chanute, Columbus, Fredonia, Independence, Pittsburg and Sedan.
For more information, call Parsons SKIL at 1-800-688-5616 or contact any SKIL office. On the web at: www.skilonline.com
Officials from the Centers for Disease Control said that Americans should prepare for the spread of the Coronavirus in communities across the country. To date, there have been no confirmed cases of the virus in Monroe County or New York as a whole. Although the Coronavirus is not an immediate issue in Upstate New York, it is flu season. A lot of us are getting sick with respiratory illnesses and the flu. CDR encourages everyone to take the steps necessary to protect themselves. The same steps you take to protect yourself from the flu are used to protect you from the Coronavirus:
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
- In the event that soap and water are unavailable, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
This may not be enough for attendant service users who rely on personal assistance services. CDR is encouraging attendant service users to take steps and build habits now that will protect your and your workers from the flu and other communicable diseases like the Coronavirus. Here are some things you should do:
- Ensure you have sufficient back up attendants in case your regular attendants cannot work; your attendants may not be able to work because either they get sick or they need to take care of a family member who is. You will still need assistance, so make sure you have someone who can provide it. You may need to identify an attendant who may only intend to work with you in a situation like this. Get them enrolled now, before you need them, so they can get paid. We understand that it is difficult to find attendants, so if you need help identifying possible resources for emergency coverage, talk to your Supervisor Support Specialist. There may also be people who cannot be paid to be your attendant, but are willing to help you, identify these people now so you have the resources when you need them.
- Ensure that you have the ability to get assistance if an attendant does not show up for work. They may not be able to get to you and you need to make sure your needs are able to be met.
- Have at least a week of non-perishable food in your home at any given time (if possible have two weeks’ supply) and identify people who can assist with shopping. If this is not financially feasible, you may need to seek out assistance from local organizations or food banks. If you need assistance finding local resources, please contact the Regional Center for Independent Living at (585) 442-6470 and ask for the No Wrong Door Team or contact your local Independent Living Center.
- Stock up on other important supplies. There may be shortages of other supplies like toilet paper, cleaning supplies, hygiene products and such. You don’t need to hoard these, but plan to keep a supply in your home.
- Identify a way to make sure you can get your medications in a timely manner. This may mean having friends or family assist you or using a pharmacy that offers prescription delivery.
- Plan for your pets. There may be difficulties in getting pet food or your pets may need someone to take care of them if you are hospitalized. If you have pets, make sure you have planned for their needs too.
- Have your attendants wash their hands and use hand sanitizer when they arrive at your home and each time prior to touching or feeding you. Repeated handwashing can become rough on an attendant’s hands. Using a hand sanitizer can be a way to protect you and their skin.
- Regularly clean, sanitize and disinfect the surfaces that are touched in your home to prevent the spread of infection. If possible, get into the habit of having your attendant do this each time immediately when they arrive at your home.
- Use disinfecting wipes on items that are frequently touched. These include your telephone, doorknobs, your refrigerator handle, your wheelchair controls, lifting device controls and remote controls. Make this convenient by having wipes near the items that should be regularly cleaned.
- Have your attendant take extra steps to avoid possibly infecting you by wearing a surgical mask if someone close to your attendant – like a member of their household – becomes sick. They should be extra vigilant about not touching their face or yours.
- If your attendant becomes sick, urge them to seek medical care and utilize your backup attendants. Please remember that attendants accrue sick leave and can utilize this.
- Take immediate steps to avoid infecting your attendants if you, one of your attendants, or a member of your household begins to feel sick. Protecting their health supports your own independence. Tell all of your attendants if you, one of your attendants or someone in your household is not feeling well. Ensure everyone washes their hands and uses hand sanitizer regularly. Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Individuals should cover their cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash. As a person with a disability, it may be difficult for you to cover a cough or sneeze, so we encourage you to wear a surgical mask if you are sneezing or coughing. It is important to use a surgical mask correctly. The following link explains how to properly use one. https://www.sfcdcp.org/communicable-disease/healthy-habits/how-to-put-on-and-remove-a-face-mask/ You may not have access to surgical masks as an individual. You should contact your medical provider, your Department of Social Services, or your managed care organization for assistance with this.
- If someone in your household becomes sick, take steps to avoid infecting other people. If possible, have them stay in a separate room of your home to get well. Regularly clean, sanitize and disinfect shared spaces, particularly the bathroom to avoid spreading the infection.
- If you become sick, seek medical care immediately. As people with disabilities we are at greater risk from illnesses like these.
- If you cannot be supported at home, contact your doctor and notify CDR so we can make sure you are able to get back home when your situation is resolved. Many of us know people with disabilities who have been institutionalized when they sought medical care, so some people are reluctant to seek medical support. You do not have to put your health and life at risk to preserve your freedom. CDR is here to help.
What you need to know about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf
What to do if you are sick with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/sick-with-2019-nCoV-fact-sheet.pdf
Hey you all!
The Alliance for Healthy Kansans who has taken a lead on advocating for KanCare Expansion. I have pasted below why Expansion is important. As we have talked about in the past, this could provide health insurance to many direct support workers/ personal assistants that fall in that gap between regular KanCare and the insurance marketplace. The main argument that legislators are using to oppose moving expansion forward is one that they have used for awhile. They keep saying that “providing healthcare through KanCare will take away from people with disabilities.” The disability community has repeatedly said this is not true. Looking at other States that have approved Medicaid expansion, it has actually made things better for people with disabilities. We have said there are some people with disabilities who currently work and are not eligible for traditional KanCare (Medicaid). We also have said that there are DSW/PCAs that work but do not have healthcare coverage. Both of these groups of people make too much income for traditional KanCare (Medicaid) but they do not make enough income to purchase insurance through the marketplace.
WHY DOES EXPANSION OF KANCARE MATTER? HERE ARE THE REASONS:
- Economic growth – KanCare expansion will help stimulate the economy and create thousands of jobs. A study by an economist from Kansas State University found that expanding KanCare would create more than 13,000 new jobs.
- It is a Kansas-based solution – Each state that expands its program can tailor it to the state’s particular needs. Among the features Kansas could draw on are requirements that beneficiaries share the costs of premiums and out-of-pocket expenses, incentives for healthy behaviors, and referral to job training for those who might need it.
- It protects access to care, especially in rural areas – Four rural Kansas hospitals have closed in recent years, resulting in loss of access to emergency care, surgery, and other health care services; hundreds of people lost their jobs. Effects of hospital closures are felt throughout the community.
- It helps 150,000 hardworking Kansans who cannot afford coverage – These are our family members, friends, and fellow Kansans who don’t make enough money to afford quality health insurance but have incomes that are too high to qualify for KanCare. Most are employed and many work multiple jobs to provide for their families. These are Kansans stuck in the coverage gap, with no affordable insurance options.
It helps thousands of uninsured military veterans and their families – About 7,400 veterans and their spouses would gain access to quality, affordable health care coverage with KanCare expansion. Veterans often do not have automatic and easy access to health care through the Department of Veterans Affairs, despite their service to our country.
- It controls health insurance costs – Without KanCare expansion, the state’s uninsured will continue to forego necessary health care. As long as thousands of working Kansans remain uninsured, the health care they inevitably need but cannot afford ends up raising the costs of care for others in the state — employers, hospitals, local governments and privately insured individuals and families.
The Alliance has asked us for some help. The disability argument seems to be the lead argument for the opposition. They asked if we had any caregivers that are in the gap or people with disabilities that are not yet able to get onto traditional medicaid but could benifit by expansion or others that may benefit and would be willing to talk about us to get in contact with me. Can you please let your members know, we would like to get something together ASAP.
- by Sean Gatewood & Lou Ann Kibbee