CALL TO ACTION
As an advocacy organization Concerned Advocates of New England tracks and follows key legislation on both the State and Federal Levels that either directly or indirectly (Unintended consequences) affects our LOVED ONES. This type of advocacy is essential for the safety and necessity of programs that support our LOVED ONES. It is also important that we monitor this legislation on both levels (State and Federal) in order to help preserve one of our most important value statements: ONE SIZE DOES NOT FIT ALL!
Two Examples of our efforts in Massachusetts:
A few years ago, I reached out to you our supporters on a bill called “Nicky’s Law”. Through your efforts and support this bill was eventually passed and a registry of substantiated abuse and neglect of individuals with I/DD was created.
Several years ago, our organization was part of a group of parent run organizations who advocated for individuals with I/DD. This group and through your efforts and support was able to pass a law that required the Department of Developmental Services to preform National Background Checks on new and existing employees.
Periodically the Concerned Advocates of New England will need your help. We may ask you to call, email or write to your State Legislators or Federal Legislators asking them to support or legislate against a particular Bill or Issue.
Concerned Advocates of New England will provide the templated language to use and, in many cases will leave a paragraph open for your “personal story”.
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Current Action Items
One Size Does Not Fit All!!!
Senate bill S.2210 in its present form will incentivize discrimination against the most severely disabled…One Size Does Not Fit All!!!
Letter to your Senator Template:
Please oppose S. 2210 the Better Care Better Jobs Act in its present form. Please amend the bill to include the same added funding for "institutional care" in Intermediate Care Facilities (ICF's) as this bill gives for "community" HCBS services.
Senate bill S.2210 in its present form will incentivize discrimination against the most severely disabled.
Those who are medically fragile or who have severe neurological disorders leading to behavioral challenges require the ICF level of care as a medical necessity for their survival, safety and quality of life. This bill sets up an unequal funding structure that will incentivize states to eliminate ICF care in favor of privatized HCBS services. HCBS services are not up to the task of adequately caring for the most severely impaired. HCBS services have led to many documented cases of abuse, neglect and even death to the severely disabled or they will refuse services to clients with difficult and challenging medical and behavioral conditions, leaving beleaguered families with nowhere to turn. It is unequal justice to bestow the most amount of money on the least disabled and leave the most severely disabled to fend for themselves.
Additionally, the process by which this bill implements these social service policy changes is unfair. The Committee of jurisdiction for this bill does not allow stakeholder input and is not accessible to the very stakeholders that this bill affects. Please explain why this bill is being processed as a budgetary reconciliation item rather than a social services policy bill under the jurisdiction of the healthcare committees.
Thank you for your consideration in this matter.