July 8, 2008

A women from the group ADAPT asked John McCain at his recent Town Hall meeting for his support of the Community Choice Act, a bi-partisan bill sponsored by Harkin and Specter. ADAPT is very active in getting their message out and raising awareness of treating people with disabilities with dignity and respect. The Community Choice Act allows people who require significant caregiving the choice of staying in the community instead of being forced by Medicaid and Medicare restrictions into nursing homes and other institutions.

Obama supports it. It looks like a good piece of legislation.

Q: Will you sign on to join the Community Choice Act?

McCain: I will not because I don't think that it's the right kind of legislation. I'm proud to have been one of the many people who was involved in the original Americans for Disabilities Act. Now we will continue to update it and upgrade and improve it as needed. Community Choice Act is not a piece of legislation that I support...

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Here's some background about the protest.

The office of Senator and presumptive Republican presidential nominee John McCain was occupied by the disability-rights organization ADAPT this afternoon. The protesters-the vast majority of which had disabilities-were seeking a meeting with McCain to ask for his support for the Community Choice Act. The legislation reforms Medicaid payments by allowing those with disabilities to use their benefits for community-based care instead of nursing homes. Approximately forty ADAPT activists participated in the protest.

McCain never says why he's against it in his answer. He holds up the ADA as an example of legislation that he does support, but that goes to issues of accessibility and accommodation, not care. The ADA has nothing to do with providing long term care of disabled people. And he had to be aware of the legislation, as the ADAPT people had a protest at his office just a couple of months ago.

Heather says:

His pretty blunt answer is no and that he supported the Americans With Disabilities Act. From press reports, a number of wheelchair-bound participants left the meeting after McCain made his statement. I guess not everyone has a Sugar Momma like Cindy to take care of them and doesn't have to worry about ending up in a nursing home like John does.

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