ANCOR Celebrates Congressional Leadership Who Stood Up for Disability Rights
(from left to right: Jennifer Kinnelly, Uplift, Inc.; Heidi Mansir, Uplift, Inc.; Senator Collins; Joe Curll, Coastal Opportunities; Bonnie Jean Brooks, OHI)
Alexandria, VA – This week, ANCOR a national association representing services to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities chose four U.S. Senators to receive its Congressional Leadership Award for excellence in supporting disability issues.
Senator Collins (R-ME), Senator Murkowski (R-AK), Senator McCain (R-AZ) and Senator Casey (D-PA) were selected for their strong protection of the Medicaid program during the health care debates this past summer.
“The Medicaid program for people with disabilities faced one of its greatest challenges in its history in the past year, but the public’s focus was often on the changes in the Affordable Care Act,” said Esme Grant Grewal, ANCOR’s Senior Director of Government Relations. “These four senators raised the profile of the impact of harmful health care proposals and severe cuts to the Medicaid program, which is the primary source of funding for critical services. ANCOR salutes them for their bravery in defending successful programs that empower people with disabilities around the country to live quality lives in the community.”
The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA), proposed significant changes to disability services in the Medicaid program that cut billions of dollars from the program in the first years of the legislation alone.
Senator Casey was an early leader giving voice to the harm that the bill would cause people with disabilities and worked with ANCOR members, disability service providers, along the way to provide guidance and news on opposing the bill.
Senator Collins, a longtime ally of ANCOR’s, was the first Republican senator to publicly announce her issues with the Medicaid portions of the bill and inability to vote on a motion to proceed on the bill.
Senator Murkowski, who has a strong record on disability issues, joined Senator Collins in opposing the BCRA and made it clear that she was not supportive of the proposed changes to the Medicaid program.
Senator McCain, a longstanding disability rights champion, had conversations with ANCOR about his concerns about the bill’s impact to Arizona’s Medicaid program and ultimately was the “no” vote that sank passage efforts.
ANCOR’s Congressional Leadership Award is intended to recognize and honor lawmakers who do everything they can to protect and strengthen vital services and supports to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. ANCOR recognizes these four Senators for their recent leadership, and thanks them for keeping the lives and livelihoods of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities in mind as future health care proposals come forward.
The American Network of Community Options and Resources is a national trade association representing more than 1,400 private providers of community living and employment supports and services to over a million individuals with disabilities with a workforce that’s over half a million strong. ANCOR advocates for the crucial role private providers play in enhancing and supporting the lives of people with disabilities and their families. www.ancor.org.