COVID-19: Leo’s Letter: The Need For Equity, Now More Than Ever Before

As we celebrate Independence Day, we face challenges that leave us uncertain. For many persons with disabilities, the uncertainty may relate to lost jobs, missed personal relationships, and a disruption of routine.

But in Massachusetts and across the globe, some worry about whether they will have enough food before and during this disruption. As we advocate for a positive transition to re-open services, we cannot forget about the inadequacies we faced before the pandemic.

Those who struggled then struggle even more today. Our advocacy should be for ALL who need our support.

Federal dollars through Medicaid (MassHealth here) support our state’s efforts to maintain a substantial safety net. Our services are based on a federal-state partnership which almost ended in 2017. That year, Senator John McCain prevented Medicaid becoming a ‘block grant’ program, which would have resulted in more limited federal financial participation.

WATCH: Leo and Nicole Jorwic of The Arc US discuss Protecting Medicaid

The United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities states that disability is an evolving concept that “results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others.” Without adequate resources provided by the state and nation, persons with disabilities cannot achieve equality.

Our state’s leadership has demonstrated a growing commitment to establish equity for our constituents in the past. During this crisis, we need that resolve and commitment more than ever before.

TAKE ACTION: Contact your Legislators as part of the #DontCutUsOut campaign to ensure funding for services

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