Federal health care bill ‘devastating blow’ to disabled, say River North advocates
Loop North News

DISABILITY RIGHTS

American Health Care Act

Federal health care bill ‘devastating blow’ to disabled, say River North advocates

7-May-17 – As the United States Senate deliberates the American Health Care Act, advocates in River North for the disabled say the bill, aimed at providing health care insurance to Americans but with controversial caveats, would be “a devastating blow” to millions of disabled people.

Rahnee Patrick “This bill threatens healthcare coverage and independence for people with pre-existing conditions and people who receive community-based supports through Medicaid,” says Rahnee Patrick, (left) Director of Independent Living for Access Living.

As passed by the House of Representatives on May 4, the bill, says Access Living, would allow states to offer higher-priced insurance to people with pre-existing conditions, resulting in many disabled people having inadequate insurance to cover their health needs.

Though $8 billion was added to help higher-risk people pay for insurance, Access Living says they would expect deductibles to be steep – as much as $5,000 – and many disabled people left out of state programs providing higher-risk insurance. The amount needed to insure all high-risk people with pre-existing conditions, says the organization, is closer to $200 billion.

The bill would also cut programs that support people with disabilities in their own homes, according to Access Living, and services such as treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues.

“This legislation fails to reflect the concerns of people with disabilities and it fails to reflect the reality of the lives of people with disabilities,” said Amber Smock (right), Access Living’s Director of Advocacy. “This legislation will not support the right of people with disabilities to get quality supports in communities instead of institutions. It will not ensure access to specialized services and equipment that provide independence. It will not keep healthcare affordable for people with disabilities.” Amber Smock

Smock called the legislation “the product of deals cut at the expense of people with disabilities.”

Access Living says it will continue to fight against the American Health Care Act and urged the Senate to “listen to the voices of people with disabilities” and reject the legislation.

By Steven Dahlman | Loop North News | sdahlman@loopnorth.com

Published 7-May-17 11:00 PM

Loop North News

FREE WEEKLY EMAIL UPDATE

What’s news in the Loop and Near North neighborhoods of downtown Chicago.

Signup for our weekly email. No ads and no charge. Just enter your email address here...

Number of subscribers:
See this week’s update

More stories


Today
Fosco Lucarelli, Italian architect and educator based in Paris and Douglas A. Garofalo Fellow from UIC School of Architecture, discusses Dysfunctional Plans, a theoretical inquiry based on seven design exercises made in collaboration with a group of Lucarelli’s students. More an experiment than a manifesto, this talk and accompanying exhibition at UIC questions whether architecture might be a discipline autonomous enough to create its own narrative, content, function, purpose, and imagination – and therefore, meaning – stemming solely from its bare form. 6:00 p.m., Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place. Map. More info.

Saturday
The Iraqi Mutual Aid Society returns for its sixth annual Middle Eastern Poetry Festival. Enjoy the rich tradition of multilingual poems in Arabic and other languages from the Middle East by refugees and immigrants from the cradle of civilization. English translations will be provided. Cosponsored with the Iraqi Mutual Aid Society. A reception follows the program. 2:00 p.m., Poetry Foundation, 61 West Superior Street. Free admission. Map. More info.

Saturday
Canadian composer Sarah Davachi returns to Chicago and presents new work for reed organ, violin, viola da gamba and electronics. Based upon variously displaced melodic movements that were originally developed through a series of improvisations for pipe organ, this piece attempts to balance instances of consonance and dissonance, both in frequency content and physical gesture between its three players. 8:00 p.m., Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Madlener House, 4 West Burton Place. Map. More info.
More events

Biggest Gainers & Losers

LITTELFUSE INC.
208.89 2.33

NORTHERN TRUST CORP.
108.08 1.77

GRUBHUB INC.
101.76 1.31

EQUITY RESIDENTIAL
60.78 1.20

Downtown Chicago Stocks