NSCIA chapter leaders will join United Spinal Association in Washington, D.C. on June 25-26 for Roll on Capitol Hill, to directly express to legislators the need for greater access to health care, wheelchairs, and policymakers — critical to the health and well-being of individuals with disabilities.
Roll on Capitol Hill is in response to serious challenges by legislators to the equal rights ensured to people with disabilities by the 22-year-old Americans with Disabilities Act.
“We will not sit idle while policies are created that directly impact our lives. Our motto is ‘do nothing about us, without us’ and we plan to drive that message home at Roll on Capitol Hill,” said Lex Frieden, United Spinal chairman of the board.
“We will not merely be there to complain. We will also share viable alternatives to misguided policies that keep people with disabilities institutionalized. We must ensure their rightful place in their communities, so that they have the opportunity to lead more independent and productive lives,” said Joseph Isaacs, United Spinal VP of Public Policy.
United Spinal members are concerned about funding cutbacks and new managed care programs that threaten access to community-based services under Medicaid, as well as restrictive Medicare policies that arbitrarily limit access to wheelchairs and therapies critical to their health.
“Members of the disability community can play a vital part in shaping public policy on Capitol Hill, as well as the state and local level,” said Paul J. Tobin, United Spinal president and CEO.
Roll on Capitol Hill participants will have the opportunity to speak directly with legislators and their staffs to voice their concerns on disability-related policies.
United Spinal’s advocacy efforts during Roll on Capitol Hill will focus on:
• Maintaining civil rights protection for people with disabilities
• Fighting serious threats from Capitol Hill to cut Medicaid-supported home care services
• Ensuring Medicare adequately funds rehabilitation and appropriate wheelchairs
• Ensuring Medicare adequately funds medical equipment used by SCI/D community, such as catheters
• Ensuring adequate coverage of prescription drugs
• Eliminating the Cap on rehab payments for Medicare beneficiaries
Roll on Capitol Hill will begin with a legislative policy conference on June 25, with speakers such as:
• The Honorable Kathleen Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for the Office of Disability Employment Policy
• Ellen Nissenbaum, Sr. Vice President for Government Affairs at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
June 26 will be devoted to Congressional visits and will conclude with an awards reception in the Cannon Caucus Room, 345 House Cannon Building
• Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA) will receive the James J. Peter’s Disability Champion Award.
• Congressman John Carter (R-31st TX) will receive the VetsFirst Bronze Star Award.
• Congressman James Langevin (D-2nd RI) will receive with the Junius Kellogg Outstanding Congressional Leadership Award.