ADAPT members arrested protesting proposed Medicaid cuts

May 4, 2011 Kyron 4 Comments

Bravery comes in all shapes and sizes. Sometimes its a firefighter running into a burning building that everyone else is running from. Sometimes it’s a mom who bravely holds down her child while a nurse sticks yet another needle into them, just because they know it’s needed. Sometimes its a person or a group of people who are willing to step out and take a stand, because it’s the right thing to do. Late Monday over well over 80 brave people not only stood up to some pretty big guns (Congress) but were willing to be arrested to make sure they were heard. According to, Capital Police arrested 89 individuals on misdemeaner unlawful conduct charges for occupying the rotunda of the Cannon House Office Building. The protest was against the Medicaid Plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin). These cuts advocates believe will force people with disabilities to live in nursing homes rather than in their own homes.

The budget resolution, which passed the House, would turn Medicaid into block grants. It would also reduce the program’s spending by hundreds of billions of dollars over the next decade. Combined with state cuts the plan has the real possibility of restricting funding so much that the support to live independently would not be there for people with disabilities.

ADAPT is a national grass-roots community that organizes disability rights activists to engage in nonviolent direct action, including civil disobedience, to assure the civil and human rights of people with disabilities to live in freedom. Without question, ADAPT is known for civil disobedience, however, don’t doubt for a moment the bravery it takes.  I don’t know that I’d have the guts it must take to know that your actions will likely get you arrested, although by doing so you bring a light on the very real issues facing those with disabilities in this country.

It’s difficult sometimes to decide to post things that have a political bent. I hope people will understand that these are issues that impact real people and that I live with one of those people. I think what I admire about ADAPT members is that so many of them are self-advocates. I spend so much of my time out there advocating on behalf of  Katherine and Donovan. I know that it pushes me into areas that I know on a daily basis I wouldn’t be comfortable going, but I do it because it’s for my babies. I also know I’m not brave enough to be arrested even though I KNOW these cuts are going to impact so many people, people I live with, people who I care for and love and consider friends. What’s worse is I feel that they are “easy” cuts to make. I think it’s much harder to make cuts to people and industries with big lobbying machines when your job is to win what is in essence a popularity contest (remember high school?) If you come out against a group with great money, they will take their big money and crush you. Come swinging after something that impacts the poor and disabled? Yea, money’s not freely flowing over there. Less to worry about.

Maybe making this post is a little moment of bravery. Maybe it’s my time to add my voice to those others who know that fiscal responsibility doesn’t have to mean leaving behind moral responsibility. No matter your political affiliation, your beliefs, etc, I think we can all agree to stand up for what you believe in, to put yourself out there is one of the bravest things you can do. Here’s to the brave person inside of each and every one of you.


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Currently there are "4 comments" on this Article:

  1. Ginny says:

    AMEN. Thanks ADAPT, for having the courage to stand up for all of us. There are so many of us that appreciate your activism and advocacy.

  2. zan thornton says:

    U rock! Adapt is awesome and brave. Just as we were leaving dc, Washington post announced republicans won’t touch Medicaid or Medicare! What timid for adapt my sheros and heros. Thanks for the article on the ultimate self advocacy! Zan

  3. Rose says:

    ADAPT is unbelievable! We went to an “action” here in Atlanta. Kinda hard to forget the fortitude of that group.

    Here’s to hoping the “squeeky wheels” always get the grease they deserve!!!!!!!

  4. Beth says:

    No need to apologize for getting “political” here, especially since you are trying to be fair. Appreciate that in your post you say that advocates *believe* that the Medicaid Plan proposed by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wisconsin) will force people with disabilities to live in nursing homes rather than in their own homes. This gives the Ryan folks an opportunity to respond. If they think the ADAPT people have it wrong, they can clear up the misunderstanding. We really and truly do need more discourse in this country, thank you for giving folks an opportunity to discuss this.

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