Hi everyone,

Today’s economy is going to be a struggle.  Bruce Darling wrote an email and is asking us to say this:

We need to focus our energy on Congress to let them know that they need to reform, not cut, Medicaid.  Here’s a link where you can TAKE ACTION:


Thank you, Dean DeRusso

Below is his message for more information:
From: Bruce Darling
Sent: Thursday, July 14, 2011 4:34 PM
To: Bruce Darling

After a few days of advocacy focussed on the White House, Valerie Jarrett, Senior Advisor to President Obama today posted a blog about the importance of Medicaid to Americans with Disabilities and our families.  You can read the blog for yourself (below), but this is a MAJOR STEP FORWARD for our community in our efforts to oppose cuts to Medicaid and call for real reform of the system.  

Thank you to AAPD for representing us at the White House and THANKS TO EVERYONE who responded to our action alert and sent emails to Valerie Jarett!   Congratulations for helping make this happen!

But the battle is far from over!

We need to focus our energy on Congress to let them know that they need to reform, not cut, Medicaid.  Here’s a link where you can TAKE ACTION:


Please distribute this action alert through your networks, asking individuals with disabilities, attendants, and our friends and families to do the same.

The ADAPT Community


From the White House Blog…

For Americans with Disabilities and their Families, Medicaid Matters
Posted by Valerie Jarrett on July 14, 2011 at 12:40 PM EDT

This week, my colleagues and I met with families from all over the country that are affiliated with the American Association of People with Disabilities, Easter Seals, and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities.

Their stories sent the message that social safety net programs such as Medicaid are more than just numbers in a budget. I’m honored to share some of those stories with all of you.

Linda Guzman told us about her son Javi, who has both autism and a connective tissue disorder. Medicaid pays for medications, surgeries, and therapies to help him stay healthy, and for personal care services to help him stay productive. Without Medicaid, Linda would have to quit her job and go on public assistance to care for him full time.

Shannon Saunders, a 13 year-old from Columbus, Ohio, was another one of our guests at the White House. When Shannon was two, doctors diagnosed her with cerebral palsy, and thought she would never be able to walk or talk. But eleven years later, I watched as she stood from her wheelchair and proudly told me that Medicaid had helped prove her doctors wrong. Her mother was able to ensure that she received treatment in order to live up to her full potential. When she grows up, she intends to become a teacher, and live independently.

There’s no question that to tackle our nation’s debt, we will have to make some tough choices. But are there any Americans who really believe that we should ask Linda to quit her job when we need everyone contributing to our economy, or that we should ask Shannon to sacrifice her future just so that a millionaire can receive another tax cut?

Yet these are exactly the kind of sacrifices that the House Republican plan would demand from Linda, Shannon, and thousands of families like theirs. President Obama simply does not believe that this is fair.

Slashing Medicaid for Americans with disabilities and their families is also bad economics. If Linda is forced to leave the workforce, and Shannon doesn’t get the health care she needs in order to join the workforce when she grows up, they would both ultimately be receiving government benefits, rather than contributing to society.  This would place a large cost on taxpayers over the long run.

In Washington, it’s easy to frame every debate in terms of political winners and losers. But stories such as Linda’s and Shannon’s are powerful reminders of what really is at stake. 

As President Obama works toward a deal that allows our country to live within its means, he’ll remember the Americans who depend on programs such as Medicaid. We hope that courageous families like the ones I met this week will inspire all our elected officials to put partisanship aside, and do what is best for our country.  

 -Valerie Jarrett is a Senior Advisor to President Barack Obama. 

Here’s a link where you can read the blog online.


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