May 15, 2001 --
Hundreds of activists from around the U.S. are in the nation's capitol for a week of actions to press the Bush administration to make good on promises made in January. Members of American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today -- ADAPT -- are pushing the president to make good on a Jan. 15 promise to issue an executive order implementing the Olmstead Supreme Court decision. "It's been more than 90 days and the President still hasn't kept his word to issue the order," says ADAPT's Mike Oxford. "It sure doesn't feel swift to all the folks who continue to be trapped in nursing homes." In June, 1999 the Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead that people must be given services in the "least restrictive" setting -- in other words, say advocates, in their homes, not institutions. (For more on the Olmstead decision, go to http://www.accessiblesociety.org/topics/ada/olmsteadoverview.htm )
ADAPT is also pushing Bush to support MiCassa legislation, to be introduced soon, "that will finally eliminate the outdated institutional bias that continues to plague our Medicaid/Medicare funded long term care service and support system" so that "no American is ever again forced into a nursing home." (Read more about MiCassa at http://www.mcil.org/mcil/adapt/casa01.htm#sum)
"You don't want to end up in a nursing home," writes U.S. News and World Report Senior Writer Joseph P. Shapiro. In this week's cover story, Shapiro writes that there are other options for older people than nursing homes. Shapiro says he had to focus his story on seniors, but he takes a look at in-home services in his story at http://www.usnews.com/usnews/issue/010521/health/homes.htm
Other efforts to improve in-home services include the move to change Medicare's "homebound" rule. A Congressional briefing will be held tomorrow (May 16) on the Homebound Clarification Act of 2001 (HR 1490) at 3:30 p.m. in Rm. 121 of the Cannon Bldg. Background on this rule, and on the grassroots effort to change it, is at http://www.amendhomeboundpolicy.homestead.com/
The national print edition of today's New York Times carried a photo of ADAPT demonstrators on page A16 -- but the caption said nothing about ADAPT's mission; only that the group was trying to get a meeting with HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson.
Daily reports of ADAPT's actions in the capitol are available from the Memphis Center for Independent LIving's Tim Wheat, at http://www.mcil.org/mcil/adapt/adapt501/