Advocacy has been and will always be a cornerstone of the Association. As such, we joined with a number of organizations last year to form the Michigan Disability Support Alliance (MI-DSA) to fight the ACA repeal and protect Medicaid. All involved were cognizant of the fact that we will need to work on the state level, not only to preserve crucial programs like Medicaid, but also ensure the well-being of Michigan residents living with disabilities.
This year, MI-DSA has developed an initiative to educate and encourage those living with disabilities to vote in the upcoming primaries and election. Beginning in August, MI-DSA members will be hosting presentations across the state to explain why it is important to vote; the rights granted to those with disabilities in regards to voting; the responsibility all voters share; and issues regarding accessibility at polling places. There will also be the opportunity for people to register to vote.
Since last year, MI-DSA has grown from three organizations to eleven. Partner organizations now include the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Disability Rights Coalition, Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council, Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan, Michigan Protection and Advocacy Services, ARC of Michigan, Self-Advocates of Michigan, Michigan Disability Networks, and Wayne State Developmental Disability Institute. With threats to repeal the ACA and cut funding to Medicare and Medicaid, disability organizations must join together to fight for all persons living with disabilities and their families who rely on these programs and protections granted by the ACA.
Last Thursday, HB 5013 passed out of committee and now sits on the House floor for a vote. This bill will likely be brought up on the floor for a house vote this week, with a second reading on Wednesday and vote on Thursday. Mayor Duggan, a number prominent Detroit Business men and corporations, and members from the Michigan Chamber are working hard to advance this bill. Additionally, HB 5013 will increase the amount of Medicaid spending by $80 million in ten years.
IT IS TIME TO TAKE ACTION AND MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD.
We strongly encourage you to join us at the Capitol and oppose this legislation, which would:
Authorize unprecedented dollar cap limitations on no-fault benefits
Give insurance companies greater control over patients’ medical care
Greatly increases the power of the insurance companies while taking legal rights away from patients
Only offers temporary premium rate reductions, if any at all
A strong showing of folks opposing this bill outside the house floor both days is important. Anticipate two long afternoons especially on Thursday. Session on Thursday starts at noon.
We will meet, receive a short update, gather materials and have lunch across the street from the House Office Building at the Central Methodist Church basement, 215 North Capitol from 11:00 AM until 2:00 PM on Wednesday and from 10:00 AM until 2:00 PM on Thursday. Salad, pizza, and beverages will be provided on Wednesday at about 11:45 AM. Lunch on Thursday will be ready about 11:00 AM prior to the start of a noon House session.
We need your help if we are going to make sure this bill is defeated. If able, we strongly encourage you to join us. If you are unable, there are still ways you can help and make your voice heard.
Email your legislators.We’ve provided a pre-written form letter, but feel free to make changes or write your own letter and send it. If you write your own, be sure they know your situation and what you stand to lose if this passes.
Call your legislators.We’ve provided talking points, but feel free to make changes or include your own. Be sure they know your situation and what you stand to lose if this passes.
Use social media to share your position and stories regarding your health care situation and be sure to use the hashtags #ProtectNoFault and #NO5013. Tell your story and let people know that the care being received would be impossible under the Duggan-Leonard plan.
Help us protect defend the system of care critical to so many Michiganders who have been, and unfortunately will be, auto accident survivors and their families.
On October 25, our own Pam Hallman has been chosen to represent domestic violence and brain injury survivors across the country in front of the U.S. Congressional Brain Injury Task Force at a briefing, titled “The Silent Epidemic in America – Brain Injury and Domestic Violence,” in Washington D.C.
The briefing will explore the correlation between domestic violence and brain injury and discuss the unique challenges in addressing brain injury in domestic violence cases. Pam will be joined by Dr. Javier Cárdenas, Director of the Barrow concussion and Brain Injury Center; Dr. Valerie Maholmes, Chief of the Pediatric Trauma and Critical Illness Branch at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development; and Anne McDonnell, the Executive Director of the Brain Injury Association of Virginia, as speakers at the briefing, with BIAA President/CEO Susan Connors moderating.
As both a brain injury and domestic violence survivor, and with years of experience speaking on the topic, Pam will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on the task force and all present for her testimony. We applaud Pam for her bravery and for sharing her story in the hopes that it brings about meaningful changes in the lives of current and future domestic violence survivors.
Following the success of our letter writing campaign at the Advocacy Station during the Fall Conference, BIAMI and Rainbow Rehab are going to continue the letter writing. During the Fall Conference, we were able to send over 1,000 letters. We want to keep that momentum going! Got to our letter writing page to submit yours today.