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American Health Care Act Sanctions Discrimination Against People with Disabilities

For Immediate Release             
May 4, 2017                        

Contact: David Card
202.408.9514 x122
press@ndrn.org

WASHINGTON – Statement by NDRN Executive Director Curt Decker on the passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA):

“For more than 40 years people with disabilities have been fighting for integration in society. There have been positive steps forward like the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Olmstead decision, the Affordable Care Act, and the rules expanding Home and Community Based Services.

“But, today, we took a giant step backward. The passage of the American Health Care Act, and the Members who voted for it, chose to relegate people with disabilities to second class status when it comes to health insurance. With their votes, they approved of people with disabilities being segregated into different insurance, forced to live in poverty and inflicted on them a great worry over how they will get health care the next time an issue arises.  

“The projected loss of $880 billion in federal Medicaid dollars will compel States to ration health care for children, including important mental health services, impacting the ability of schools to provide needed education services to their students and lead to noncompliance with the federal mandates under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

“The Members of the House who supported this legislation should be ashamed that they sanctioned discrimination against people with disabilities, forced isolation and segregation on this community, and treated people with disabilities like second class citizens.

“I call on the Senate to reject this mean spirited legislation.”

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The National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) is the nonprofit membership organization for the federally mandated Protection and Advocacy (P&A) Systems and the Client Assistance Programs (CAP) for individuals with disabilities. Collectively, the Network is the largest provider of legally based advocacy services to people with disabilities in the United States.