For Immediate Release

ADAPT logo: universal access symbol breaking a chain overhead; text: FREE OUR PEOPLE! May 13, 2002
For more information, contact:
Bob Kafka (512) 431-4085 cell
Marsha Katz (406) 544-9504 cell

ADAPT Shuts Down D.C. Traffic for Hours To "Follow the Money" to OMB

(Washington, D.C.) It isn't often that traffic for blocks around the White House is shut down for hours, but ADAPT made it happen today in order to gain a meeting with Mitchell Daniels, Jr., the Director of the Federal Office of Management and Budget (OMB). 

Tired of hearing the constant Washington refrain "We don't have the funding" to remove the institutional bias from Medicaid in favor of home and community based services, ADAPT took to heart the saying "Follow the money." The trail led to OMB Director Daniels and OMB Health Affairs staffer, Jim Capretta whose offices are in the New Executive Office Building, at 725 17th Street. To get their attention, ADAPT blocked the single door to the building for five hours, along with the intersections at either end of the block. In order to divert traffic away from the two impassable intersections, police had to close traffic for blocks in all directions. 

"I think the police really began to realize how important our freedom is to us," said Steve Verriden, ADAPT Wisconsin State Organizer. "When it started to rain, they were surprised that no one made any move to leave‚¶we all just pulled on rain ponchos, shared umbrellas, taped plastic over the electric controls on our wheelchairs, and settled in for however long it was going take to get the meeting. We would have slept there if need be." 

The meeting with Daniels, secured with assistance from Mark McClellan, of Health Affairs, Council of Economic Advisors, Executive Office of the President, will occur before July 15 to develop President Bush's next budget to include funding that will:

  • Put community services on a equal funding basis with institutional services, 

  • Provide an increase in the federal portion of Medicaid dollars for community services in order to assist states to eliminate the institutional bias in long term care, 

  • Sponsor additional grants to the states which will assist their transition from provision of institutionally biased services to services that are community based, and 

  • Sponsor a national 5-10 year demonstration project in at least 5 states which assists co-ordination of community based services for persons eligible for both Medicaid and Medicare. 

"We also want the President's next budget to include funding for S. 1298 and H.R. 3612, known as MiCASSA, the Medicaid Community-based Attendant Services and Supports Act," said Alfredo Juarez, ADAPT El Paso. "And, lastly, we want the OMB to provide the funding necessary to strengthen the President's New Freedom Initiative, so it can be a promise kept, and not just a bunch of pretty words." 

MiCASSA removes the institutional bias from Medicaid funded long term care by allowing people to choose to receive services in their own homes in the community. There will be a press event for MiCASSA at 12 noon, in room 325 of the Russell Senate Building, on Wednesday, May 15, which will be heard by phone by an additional 4000 people at nearly 80 sites in over 35 states around the country. 

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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