2017 May 15th – How can the Trump Administration demonstrate support for the Liberty of disabled Americans?

Liberty through Independent Living!

There is only one national network run by people with disabilities that promotes community integration of people with disabilities – the Centers for Independent Living. The Title VII independent living programs (Centers for Independent Living, Statewide Independent Living Councils and programs that provide technical assistance to both) are currently funded at $101.1 million.

These programs are woefully underfunded. To demonstrate support for the Liberty of disabled Americans the Trump Administration should increase funding of the Independent Living programs by at least $125 million, targeting additional IL funding to support Centers for Independent Living (CILs) to engage in and expand community integration activities. Additionally, the Administration should set aside between 5 to 10 percent of these funds for SILC coordination/data reporting, peer to peer technical assistance and other projects of national significance, as well as enable ILA to distribute disaster relief funding from HHS and FEMA to CILs in disaster areas like the Administration on Aging now has the authority to do.

Reform Medicaid to Promote Community Integration!

For disabled Americans, Medicaid is the funding stream that provides for life and liberty. For decades, ADAPT and others in the Disability Community have tried to engage elected officials and various administrations in discussions about real Medicaid reform that would help contain costs while ensuring disabled Americans and seniors are able to receive the services and supports they need to live in freedom. Such reforms include increasing opportunities for consumer direction, streamlining systems, and promoting community integration over costly institutionalization.

Instead of capping and cutting Medicaid, the Trump administration should ensure that Medicaid programs like Money Follows the Person, Community First Choice Option and Balancing Incentives Payments continue under any legislation enacted regarding Medicaid, while working with ADAPT and the Disability Community to explore other legislative and regulatory ways to reduce the institutional bias such as incrementally increasing the FMAP so that states are incentivized to ensure that disabled Americans are no longer denied the fundamental liberties that most other Americans take for granted.