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Independent Living News & Policy from the National Council on Independent Living

Disability Advocates Take Over Harrisburg Capitol Rotunda, Demand Medicaid Talks with Governor and Legislature

ADAPTers held in custody in HarrisburgThree hundred activists with the national disability rights group ADAPT have taken over the rotunda of the Pennsylvania State Capitol in Harrisburg, as well as the offices of Governor Corbett, Senate Appropriations Chair Jake Corman, and House Appropriations Chair William Adolph. They are demanding to meet with Governor Corbett and members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly to talk about ways to re-build funding for Medicaid home and community based services.  Many of the activists themselves have Medicaid and are desperate to stop further cuts that would force them into nursing facilities and institutions. Read Daily Action Reports

“I have come to my state Capitol to demand that our State’s politicians stop cutting Medicaid home services that could force me to leave my home and go into a nursing facility,” said John Gladstone, a Pennsylvania ADAPT who has both Medicaid and Medicare and uses a power wheelchair.  “I am an older American and I deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. Governor Corbett is treating us with a heart of stone.”

The activists are not only from Pennsylvania but all over the nation, as ADAPT chapters from other states are facing many of the same problems in Medicaid. “Pennsylvania is just one state in Medicaid crisis,” said Philadelphia ADAPT leader Cassie James Holdsworth. “The fact that our fellow ADAPTers have come in from all over the US to Harrisburg is about making the point that the Medicaid crisis is everyone’s crisis.”

The activists made it clear that today’s action is the result of years of frustration coming to a head.  “We have tried over and over again to get a meeting with Governor Corbett,” said Pam Auer of Harrisburg ADAPT.  “We have written letters, we have made phone calls.  Governor Corbett will not respond, so we are taking the fight for Pennsylvania Medicaid to the place where he does business with the General Assembly.”

The activists have a ten point list of solutions to solve the Medicaid crisis in Pennsylvania.  Chief among them are options to draw down nearly $200 million in more federal funding that the State has not utilized.  $120 million is from the Community First Choice Option and about $65 million is from the Balancing Incentives Program.  The activists will not be leaving until talks are held. They visited the Governor’s Mansion yesterday and will be here in Harrisburg for two more days of action to draw attention to the Medicaid Crisis.

For more information about ADAPT and to see the activists’ ten points, please visit For real time updates, follow ADAPT on Twitter.


  1. Apparently, being a mom of an autistic child puts you in the harsh judgment seat. Increase of abuse against autistic people is on rise. Autistic people are often targets of sick people who prey on vulnerable people. Worse, they sometimes blame parents when their autistic children is abused, as if the person with autism is less than human and somehow just being autistic is a reason you can abuse them! How screwed up is our world? Recently, a case where caregivers caught on tape punching, kicking and poking eye of severely autsitic man, we find caregivers denying all charges (though their abuse is clearly seen on camera). Their defense then takes a new twist of illogical defenses to abuse of autistics, by blaming the mom of autistic child, for being a “high maintence mom” who demands high standard of care for her autistic son, as if that justifies caregivers abusing him! Just horrific. I guess it’s open season on autistic people. See channel 8 san diego news: December 27, 2012

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