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Category: Blogs

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Groups supporting public option pen a letter to Colorado lawmakers

Joey Bunch, Colorado Politics,  Feb 19, 2020, as published in coloradopolitics.com

From the American Diabetes Association to the Young Invincibles, more than two dozen Colorado groups signed on to a letter urging state lawmakers to support a public option insurance program to increase competition and, ideally, lower premiums and other health care costs.

The letter dated Jan. 22, provided to Colorado Politics Tuesday, speaks of a “true crisis” in every corner of the state and urges the General Assembly to deliver affordability, transparency and access to care through the insurance marketplace.

Continue reading “Groups supporting public option pen a letter to Colorado lawmakers”

Block Grants and Medicaid Funding

Written by Kenny Maestas

MEDICAID MYTHS

  • Myth: Seniors, PWD, pregnant women, and children forced on Medicaid waiting lists under expansion.
    • Truth: No waiting lists to enroll in Medicaid. States must enroll all eligible beneficiaries (i.e., children, seniors, PWD)
  • Myth: Medicaid expansion led to longer waitlists for people requesting home and community-based services (HCBS)
    • Truth: Medicaid expansion has improved access to HCBS (9 of 11 states with no waiting lists are expansion states).
  • Myth: Medicaid Expansion has been an economic drain.
    • Truth: PWD, caretakers, and home care workers have all benefited directly from Medicaid expansion. Colorado added many jobs, and Medicaid helps the economy, especially in rural areas.
  • Myth: GOP Healthcare bill won’t harm seniors and PWD currently receiving HCBS.
    • Truth: Its per capita cap would make it hard for states to meet the need for HCBS, and cuts will increase yearly.
  • Myth: States will be able to manage better Medicaid funds keeping coverage for current recipients.
    • Truth: States must cover nursing home care under Medicaid. So, cuts to Medicaid will be to PWD living in the community. HCBS waiting lists will grow. Some states might end programs.
  • Myth: Medicaid expansion members are just lazy, able-bodied people.
    • Truth: There’s a minimal number of able-bodied adults not working, but they’re a distinct minority. Expansion members include many PWD, and others are low-wage workers whose employers do not provide insurance.
  • Myth: Giving expansion higher match somehow hurts those on traditional Medicaid
    • Truth: The higher expansion gave states infrastructure to improve the program. People with disabilities, elders, and children benefited from these improvements. The match for traditional populations remained uncut.
  • Myth: Medicaid patients cannot get doctors.
    • Truth: Federal statistics gathered over recent years show that the % of physicians accepting new Medicaid patients has remained around 70 percent. No support for the idea that the participation rate has declined under the ACA.

Continue reading “Block Grants and Medicaid Funding”

New Landscape Assessment Examines Community Organizing in Colorado

The Colorado Trust is pleased to share a landscape assessment of community organizing in Colorado. The assessment was conducted to better understand the priority issues of community organizing groups or organizations, their approaches to community organizing, and the unique challenges they face.

This report provides information on where organizing is taking place across the state, who is being organized and around what issues. Characteristics of groups and organizations engaged in community organizing are shared, as well as information on tactics and strategies used, and leadership and governance structures. It also highlights the perspectives and expressed needs of community organizers across Colorado, as well as their successes and challenges in doing this work.

The assessment was conducted by AMGB Consulting from September to November of 2019. Three hundred and thirty community organizing groups or organizations were identified, 181 completed a survey and 40 staff members or organizers participated in an interview or focus group. While the assessment was successful in identifying organizing efforts in urban and rural areas across Colorado, it should be noted that it does not include data from all community organizing groups that are active in the state.

Please contact Abby Bohannan or Mayra Gonzales of AMBG Consulting with any questions about the landscape assessment. For information on advocacy grantmaking at The Colorado Trust, including our new Building and Bridging Power strategy—which will support the work of organizing people and building policy infrastructure (letters of intent are being accepted through Feb. 7, 2020)—please contact Noelle Dorward, advocacy and policy partner at The Colorado Trust.

State Bill To Add RTD Board Members To Increase Oversight

DENVER (CBS4) – A transit system plagued with issues has caught the attention of state lawmakers. An ongoing driver shortage and hundreds of delayed and canceled routes within RTD prompted the introduction of a bill that would change how the agency operates.

Continue reading this article and watch the video at https://denver.cbslocal.com/2020/01/29/rtd-board-members-disabilities/ By Karen Morfitt,

 

Hey, A**hole! Yeah, you. The jerk who owns the motorcycle with Colorado license plate OSK-069

You know who you are! Yesterday, January 26, 2020, at approximately 2:00 PM at the parking lot at 14th St. and Market Street at least until approximately 5:30 PM.

It may very well be that such language in the title of this blog is unbecoming of the Legal Program Director of a statewide well-established and highly regarded disability rights organization, but, frankly, OSK 069, I don’t give a damn. In this day and age, this seems to be the way people communicate.

So what part of the driver’s exam did you not understand? Yellow crosshatched areas mean, “NO PARKING!”

Picture of motorcycle parked in yellow crosshatched access aisle Picture of motorcycle parked in yellow crosshatched access aisle adjacent to accessible parking space

“It shall be unlawful for any vehicle to park in any area designated for loading and unloading of a vehicle designed for the mobility impaired by pavement markings such as cross-hatching or by other indication. These areas are access aisles and parking by any vehicle is prohibited at all times.”

Denv. Mun. Ord. § 54-485(i).

For those of us who use wheelchairs and who drive vans with sideloading wheelchair lifts or wheelchair ramps, this has become an increasingly common problem: crosshatched access aisles are there for a reason. You know it. Stop acting stupid. This is not motorcycle parking. This is not an accessible parking space. This is an access aisle adjacent to and accessible parking space that is required by law under the Americans with Disabilities Act as well as state law and Denver ordinances. It is there for a purpose. It allows those of us who use wheelchairs who must strive vehicles with wheelchair lifts or wheelchair ramps to have enough space to get in and out of our vehicles.

You knew when you parked your motorcycle in that crosshatched aisle that it was not a parking space. You knew when you parked your motorcycle and that crosshatched aisle that it was illegal. You knew when you parked your motorcycle in that crosshatched aisle you were going to deny somebody who uses a wheelchair access to parking in downtown Denver. You just didn’t care! What kind of person are you? Why is your life more important than mine? Why do you get to enjoy the company of your friends downtown and I don’t? You blocked access to the only place I had anywhere close to where I wanted to go to be able to park. Do you hate people who use wheelchairs? Or are you just an a**hole? You are lucky that people wheelchairs are strong enough to knock your stupid motorcycle over.

Although I was just trying to spend a little time with some friends downtown probably just like you, you made it extremely difficult to do so. Parking for those of us who drive vehicles with sideloading wheelchair lifts or wheelchair ramps is extremely limited. Especially downtown. With the advent of bike lanes that make it virtually impossible to park on the right side of the road (which is absolutely necessary for these kinds of vans) on many of Denver’s streets (an issue that we will be taking on as well because we have no choice), street parking has become almost nonexistent. For many of us, parking garages are very difficult to use because you have to be able to reach out of your vehicle and grab a ticket out of a machine that most of us cannot reach. Therefore, parking garages are off-limits. Surface level parking lots are disappearing as more and more buildings are being constructed. That means all that is left are the handful of surface-level parking lots that still exist. But because you are more important than me, I guess you are entitled to completely disregard the civil rights of people with disabilities.

Oh sure. The Denver ordinances give me options for addressing the issue. For example, I could have spent the couple of hours I had to spend with my friends I had not seen in a long time calling the Denver police. Then I could’ve waited for the Denver police to show up. Then we would’ve had to talk over what the problem was. Then, as usually happens, I would have to show them that they do, in fact, have the right to enforce parking violations on private property. Then, they might issue a ticket or tow you out of the space, but how much of the few hours that I had to spend my friends with this have consumed? Is this the way you wanted to spend your day in downtown Denver? Why should I have to?

But why should you care? You don’t have a disability. You don’t have to drive all over downtown circling the place it is you want to go to over and over again to try to find someplace to let your wheelchair lift or wheelchair ramp down.

No. You just hop on your motorcycle and ride baby ride! And apparently you park wherever you damned well feel like it.

Truth be told, you might have a much better understanding of this issue in the not-to-distant future. In a 2014 study published by the National Spinal Cord Injury Statistical Center, motorcycle accidents were the fifth leading cause of spinal court injury. So, who knows? You might have a much clearer understanding of the issue sometime in the near future. Maybe then you’ll care. Until then, kindly please stop screwing up my weekends. I really appreciate it.

And finally, was that a parking ticket I noticed on your motorcycle when I left? I wonder how that happened.

Kindly please, think before you park, A**hole!

UPDATE!!

 

As you will see above, the Denver Municipal Ordinances specifically prohibit vehicles from parking in crosshatched areas. This one is really amazing! (1) it is a Denver police car in the crosshatched zone; (2) it is at CCDC’s office building; (3) that is my van immediately to the left of it, and my ramp unfolds exactly where that police car is parked. The municipal ordinances require calling the police when people park in the spaces. The problem is, of course, very few of us have time to wait for the police to come and deal with the issue. My van cannot be driven by someone else. There is no driver seat, and I have very expensive and technical equipment that I would only want someone who was specifically trained on it to drive it. Therefore, simply backing it out is not an option although everyone always asks me this rather than moving the car out of the illegally parked loading zone.

I had lengthy discussions with our management company to request that they install appropriate accessible parking throughout our building complex and install signs that are also referenced in the Denver Municipal Ordinances that say that there should be a sign posted at the front of the access aisle stating exactly what the sign states.

There is a “loading zone” directly on the other side of the overhang to the entrance of the building. When you look at the picture, you’ll notice that no one is parked there. When I use the seemingly unlawyerly language in the caption of my post, I never thought I would have to apply it to those who are supposed to be enforcing the law I was complaining about.

I guess the guy on the motorcycle was just following an example.

 

 

Amtrak Asks 2 People Who Use Wheelchairs To Pay $25,000 For A Ride

Accessible Travel Services

“Our goal is to provide safe, efficient and comfortable service to all of our passengers. We are pleased to provide additional services to passengers with disabilities, and we have worked to make our facilities more accessible to customers with disabilities.”

The above is a direct quote from the Amtrack website on the Accessible Travel Services page.

The following article is what that reality looked like for two passengers are reported on January 17, 2020, by Joseph Shapiro, Correspondent, NPR Investigations.

“It costs just $16 to buy a one-way ticket on the Amtrak train from Chicago to Bloomington, Ill., unless you’re the two people who use wheelchairs and tried to buy tickets recently. They were told their tickets will cost not $16 — but $25,000.” (Click to read the full NPR article.)

The Road to Work and Independence

By Michelle McHenry-Edrington, Non-Attorney Advocacy Coordinator

So you have a disability, and you want to remain or become as independent as you can. Maybe you want to go to school and get a job that turns into a career.

First of all, I can imagine that most people in your life have taken away or diminished your hopes and dreams regarding work and independence. Your dreams of living how you choose and being the best you can be are still yours to hope for and dream. Continue reading “The Road to Work and Independence”

Action Needed! SB 20-033: Allow Medicaid Buy-in Program After Age 65

SB 20-033: Allow Medicaid Buy-in Program After Age 65

By Julie Reiskin, Executive Director, CCDC

WILL ALLOW PEOPLE WITH SIGNIFICANT DISABILITIES WHO WORK USING THE MEDICAID BUY-IN TO CONTINUE WORKING AFTER AGE 65

Program: The Medicaid Buy-In for Working Adults with Disabilities (Buy-In) has been a path out of poverty for people with disabilities since 2014. By allowing people who have a disability and a job to buy into Medicaid and, if needed, long-term services and supports, individuals can earn up to 450% of the Federal Poverty Level while only counting 50% of their earned income. Best of all, there is no asset test. ALL OTHER paths into Medicaid carry a $2000 asset limit and strict earnings limits.  Continue reading “Action Needed! SB 20-033: Allow Medicaid Buy-in Program After Age 65”

Why CCDC Always Remains Working on Martin Luther King Day

 

Image of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering "Social Injustice" speech at Michigan State University on December 18, 1963Photograph of President George H. W. Bush signing the Americans With Disabilities Act joined by Evan Kemp, Justin Dart on July 26, 1990

 

 

 

 

Each year, the staff and many of our amazing volunteers at CCDC keep the office doors open and work on this very important holiday, a day dedicated to this true leader in the civil rights movement. Why? This movement has inspired and driven so much of what the disability rights community has done. The author of this blog has devoted a great amount of time studying Dr. King and the civil rights movement and the lawyers who were involved with that movement in order to build CCDC’s Civil Rights Legal Program. To pay tribute to Dr. King,  CCDC always works on Martin Luther King Day.  We believe the best way to honor this great civil rights hero is to continue championing the causes of people with disabilities by working on this day. Continue reading “Why CCDC Always Remains Working on Martin Luther King Day”

Changes coming to two of the Single Entry Point Agencies (SEP)

CCDC is pleased to announce that in July 2020, there will be changes to two of the Single Entry Point Agencies (SEP). The Single Entry Point System is a collection of more than 20 state-wide SEPs that provide eligibility determinations and case management for particular Home and Community Based Services Waiver programs.  Continue reading “Changes coming to two of the Single Entry Point Agencies (SEP)”


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Information received from CCDC’s employees or volunteers, or from this site, should NOT be considered a substitute for the advice of a lawyer. www.ccdconline.org DOES NOT provide any legal advice, and you should consult with your own lawyer for legal advice. This website is a general service that provides information over the internet. The information contained on this site is general information and should not be construed as legal advice to be applied to any specific factual situation.

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