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Saturday, June 10, 2017

In the Eye of the Whirlwind in Washington, DC

I haven't felt compelled to post for a while until now when  a  political storm created  by a President who, addicted  to  expresssinng his  basic unrestrained fury in public through his Twitter acccount(s) when things don't meet his real or imagined expectations, acts like a dictator of a banana republic, enriching further his global business empire to the detriment of others affected by his capricious and impulsive decisions that hew to a Republican big business and anti-climate change agenda championed by the secretive and influential Koch brothers. Such a mindset, clothed in the mantle of free enterprise and competitive bidding practices, ultimately presents a real threat to the well-being not just of the American citizenry, as the polarized debate over the poorly developed American Health Care Act  but also more crucially the fundamental infrastructure which enable a key segment of that population, persons with disabilities to  lead fully independent, productive lives as contributing members of their  communities. The imperiled support system is a mosaic  of interlocking elements such as securing qualified personal  assistants to aid in daily living activities as compensating for  one's limitations whose hourly rates are below parity  levels, lack of  access to securing customized wheelchairs to meet individualized mobility needs based on the specific type and degree  of impairment involved,  funded by  Medicare and Medicaid under aegis  of the Centers  for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS) within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) helmed by the agency Secretary Tom Price, a physician appointed by President Trump. Price pledged that he would dismantle the very same federal institution he was chosen to oversee. We're living in an Orwellian society full of doublespeak where nothing appears as they seem to appear, ruled by an entrenched plutocracy at the expense of a highly vulnerable populace who rightly feel exploited by the ever--widening income disparities. Resistance to Trump means leveling the playing field for all people!

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Trumpcare: A Clear and Present Danger to the Disability Community

The Republican-dominated House of Representatives,  conisisting largely of Congressmen  committed to an antiquated free-enterprise and states-centric ideology reminiscent of the philosophical outlook of Ayn Rand: a government without any regulatory authority, unveiled their own "health care plan",  the American Health Care Act, an extremely short-sighted response to the Obama signature legislation and legacy, the Affordable Care Act. As a matter of fact, under leadership of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Congress was able to repeal the Affordable Care Act which included expanded Medicaid coverage for the most vulnerable segments of American society, especially those living at or below the poverty line. The entire Medicaid program as it exists today is to be defunded  under this Republican proposed legislation. This includes persons with disabilities, African-Americans, Latinos and LGBTQ groups.  The Congressional Budget Office charged with providing nonpartisan cost estimates, just released a detailed budget report outlining the financial consequences of eliminating Medicaid and other entitlement programs, causing 21 million people to fall between the cracks jeopardizing their overall well-.being and "replacing" it with a bogus, state-run block grants program with virtually no no federal accountability at all, is courting apocalyptic disaster for the disability community both on an individual basis  and as a powerful political entity (approximately 40 million in US according to government census and CDCP figures). To put bluntly, members of of the disability community will left without any dependable insurance system that pays for the enable me  and others with physical disabilities to lead highly productive meaningful lives such as personal care assistants who daily tend to our overall well-being. The key in fighting this erosion of protective enabling legislation  is to mobilize ALL stakeholders(especially the Medicaid Long Term Care agencies such as ICS, Concepts, Partners Health Plan (for developmentally and intellectually disabled consumers), state/city agencies as well as disability rights advocates) to forcefully pressure key liberal Democratic lawmakers such as Senator Charles Schumer the Senate Minority Leader, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Senator Kirsten Gillibrandt, Congressman Jim Langevin from Rhode Island and a paraplegic himself, Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts , former Vice President Joseph Biden and even former President  Barack Obama to push back hard and eliminate the proposed GOP agenda entirely! I’ll collaborate with leaders of the disability rights movements, some of whom are friends of mine to make it happen, but the pressure must be a sustained one!

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

American Health Care GOP Plan: A Recipe for Disaster

 The Republican-dominated House of Representatives,  conisisting largely of Congressmen  committed to an antiquated free-enterprise and states-centric ideology reminiscent of the philosophical outlook of Ayn Rand: a government without any regulatory authority, unveiled their own "health care plan",  the American Health Care Act, an extremely short-sighted response to the Obama signature legislation and legacy, the Affordable Care Act. As a matter of fact, under leadership of Speaker of the House Paul Ryan and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell Congress was able to repeal the Affordable Care Act which included expanded Medicaid coverage for the most vulnerable segments of American society, especially those living at or below the poverty line. The entire Medicaid program as it exists today is to be defunded  under this Republican proposed legislation. This includes persons with disabilities, African-Americans, Latinos and LGBTQ groups.  The Congressional Budget Office charged with providing nonpartisan cost estimates, just released a detailed budget report outlining the financial consequences of eliminating Medicaid and other entitlement programs, causing 21 million people to fall between the cracks jeopardizing their overall well-.being and "replacing" it with a bogus, state-run block grants program with virtually no federal accountability at all, is courting apocalyptic disaster for the disability community both on an individual basis  and as a powerful political entity (approximately 40 million in US according to government census and CDCP figures). To put bluntly, members of of the disability community will left without any dependable insurance system that pays for the enable me  and others with physical disabilities to lead highly productive meaningful lives such as personal care assistants who daily tend to our overall well-being. The key in fighting this erosion of protective enabling legislation  is to mobilize ALL stakeholders(especially the Medicaid Long Term Care agencies such as ICS, Concepts, Partners Health Plan (for developmentally and intellectually disabled consumers), state/city agencies as well as disability rights advocates) to forcefully pressure key liberal Democratic lawmakers such as Senator Charles Schumer the Senate Minority Leade, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, Senator Kirsten Gillibrandt, Congressman Jim Langevin from Rhode Island and a paraplegic himself, Senator Elizabeth Warren from Massachusetts , former Vice President Joseph Biden and even former President  Barack Obama to push back hard and eliminate the proposed GOP agenda entirely! I’ll collaborate with leaders of the disability rights movements, some of whom are friends of mine to make it happen, but the pressure must be a sustained one!