Below is an alert from The Arc (Advocating for the Rights of Citizens with Developmental Disabilities) of the United States. Your support would be greatly appreciated!
Support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009
If you do only one thing this week to advocate on behalf of people with intellectual disabilities and their families, here's what it should be: contact your U.S. Senators and Representatives and urge them to support the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 introduced in the House and the Senate.
This economic recovery legislation is vitally important to people with disabilities. Current proposals will provide more than $87 billion in Federal matching funds for the Medicaid program, $13 billion for IDEA state grants, $600 million for IDEA Part C early intervention programs, $500 million for vocational rehabilitation facilities, $4 billion for job training and more. The House proposal will also put $4.5 billion in the hands of SSI recipients, with a vitally needed cash payment of $450 for individuals, $630 for couples.
These federal funds, particularly the Medicaid dollars, will provide critical assistance to the states, most of which are experiencing substantial budget deficits and should help to stave off significant cuts to programs, services and supports that are important for people with disabilities and their families
A vote by the House may take place as early as Wednesday of this week, so your action today is critical. Again, call your Senators and Representatives and urge them to support the economic recovery plan.
You also need to gear up your state advocacy efforts to make sure that the Medicaid funds are not diverted for other purposes. The economic recovery legislation gives states a lot of flexibility for how they may use the funds. While they must continue to use the same eligibility criteria that were in use as of July 2008, they are free to change benefits, provider payments and make other changes. You need to be in touch with your Governor, state directors of developmental disability services and state legislators to persuade them to at least maintain the level of services for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Click here to review more details about the legislation. To make your voice heard, simply enter in your zip code and it will direct you to the contact information for your area. Thank you for taking a few minutes to help Mighty Max and all individuals with developmental disabilities!
* If you contact your Senators/Representatives on this issue, please post a comment and let me know. It would be greatly appreciated! How cool would it be to have 25 of you make your voice heard!?!