For Immediate Release

ADAPT logo: universal access symbol breaking a chain overhead; text: FREE OUR PEOPLE! May 9, 2002
For more information, contact:
Bob Kafka (512) 431-4085 cell
Marsha Katz (406) 544-9504 cell

ADAPT Mother's Day March for Freedom Delivers Message to White House

(Washington, D.C.) First Lady Laura Bush and her mother-in-law, former First Lady Barbara Bush, will receive a Mother's Day Card delivered to the White House in person by 500 ADAPT members on Sunday, May 12. The card, in recognition of their work in advancing literacy and education, and their efforts on behalf of Afghan women, also seeks their support for countless American women who are forced into segregation away from home and family by failed public policy that supports institutions over community.

"ADAPT is asking Laura and Barbara Bush to encourage President Bush's support of the Medicaid Community-based Attendant Services and Supports Act of 2001 (MiCASSA), S. 1298 and HR 3612," said Barbara Toomer, mother, grandmother, and Utah ADAPT Organizer. " The President's support, as part of his New Freedom Initiative, would give the "Gift of Freedom" to America's mothers this Mother's Day by helping to reform the nation's long term care system." 

Data from federal agencies (The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, The Administration on Aging, The Census Bureau, the Social Security Administration, Centers for Disease Control) show that women are disproportionately affected by poverty and forced nursing home admission;

  • Three fourths of the elderly poor are women; 

  • In 1996, the median income for women over 65 who were widowed, divorced or never married was $10,483; 

  • Three fourths of all nursing home residents are women; 

  • Half of the women in nursing homes rely on Medicaid, which pays over $48,000/year on average for their care. 

In addition, according to the AARP and Citizens for Long Term Care;

  • Women comprise 80% of the nation's caregivers, working an average of 18 hours/week for no pay, with 20% working 40 or more hours/week; 

  • 75% of these women are 65 and over.

MiCASSA provides real choice in long term care to women (and men) with disabilities of all ages. It removes the institutional bias in Medicaid that results in the average nursing home resident being a woman over 80 years of age, thus allowing that woman to choose to receive the same services in her own home near family and friends. MiCASSA similarly allows younger people with disabilities to remain in their homes in the community, instead of also being forced into nursing homes and other institutions-something no mother wants for her children of any age. 

"Every Mother's Day, I'm reminded that I'm another year older, and not as able to do for myself as I was when I was younger," added Marva Ways, mother, grandmother and ADAPT Organizer from Detroit, MI. "I don't want to be another grandmother who falls victim to this throw-away society of ours. We deserve better than that. That's why I'll be right up front when ADAPT delivers its Mother's Day wish to Laura and Barbara Bush, asking for their support of MiCASSA, the "Gift of Freedom," for all American women."

One More Reason to Assure Home and Community Based Long Term Care Services: "At the end of your life, you will never regret not having passed one more test, not winning one more verdict or not closing one more deal. You will regret time not spent with a husband, a friend, a child or a parent. ..." - Barbara Bush

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54 million Americans have some level of disability, 26 million people have a severe disability. [Current Population Reports. U.S. Department of Commerce - Census Bureau. Aug. 1997 p. 70-61]

Summary of MiCASSA

The ADAPT Action Report

MiCASSA Questions and Answers 

2002 etc information