Colorado ADAPT My Medicaid Matters March and Rally
Over 100 people marched from 6th Street and Grant to the steps of the Colorado Health Care Policy and Finance building where they rallied with the direct message: “My Medicaid Matters.”
The march and rally were organized by Colorado ADAPT to send the message to Washington DC and the Deficit Reduction Super Committee that Medicaid is an essential federal program. ADAPT has proposed cost saving Medicaid reform for Congress to consider that will continue to support people with disabilities in the community and still save tax dollars. Generally the ADAPT proposal is to expand the use of community-based services as an option to expensive institutions, to de-medicalize services, to expand consumer directed options and to eliminate wasteful bureaucracy.
“This Super Committee holds our very lives in their hands,” said Anita Cameron of ADAPT and one of the organizers of the march. “Their vote could send millions of people with disabilities and seniors around the country into nursing facilities, which actually costs states more money. Our very lives and freedom are on the line.”
Before noon about 100 activists gathered at 6th and Grant to start the march. Morris Price, Rep. Diana DeGette’s District Director addressed the crowd before the march. Rep. DeGette is in Washington.
The Denver Police stopped traffic for the march, as the long line made its way mostly uphill on Logan and past the state Capitol to the HCPF office building on Grant. Along the way, the marchers chanted “My Medicaid Matters,” following someone shouting out a focus to the Medicaid program including: Independence, family, jobs and community.
At the rally, Dawn Russell of ADAPT began with a little history of the My Medicaid Matters campaign and what ADAPT had accomplished with Money Follows the Person and the Community First Choice Option.
“It was no surprise yesterday when news reports announced it is likely that the Super Committee will fail to reach a debt deal,” said Ms Russell. “Many believe their plan is to kick the can down the road, extend the deficit reduction problem to the next administration. Because of the Super Committee impotence How long will we wait for ADAPT’s proposals for REAL Medicaid reform?”
Senator Aguilar of Colorado District 32, Carol Meredith, Mark Stallman, James Tucker, Julie Reiskin and Anita Cameron all spoke at the rally to reinforce the message that “my Medicaid matters.”