adapt acts: For Some Nursing Homes = Prison FL Olmstead case; etc..

adapt acts: For Some Nursing Homes = Prison FL Olmstead case; etc..
For Some, Nursing Homes = Prison, FL Olmstead case
From: Marsha Katz
Sent: Monday, September 22, 2008 9:11 AM
Subject: Steve’s FL case makes AOL Online news headlines with article
and VOTE

http://news.aol.com/health/article/for-some-nursing-homes-are-a-
prison/181916
?icid=100214839x1209800622x1200593650

For Some, Nursing Homes Are a Prison
By MATT SEDENSKY
,
AP
posted: 1 DAY 16 HOURS AGO
comments: 9
filed under: Health News, National News
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PLANT CITY, Fla. (Sept. 20) – Charles Todd Lee spent a lifetime going
backstage at concerts, following politici ans on the campaign trail
and
capturing iconic shots of everyone from Martin Luther King Jr. to
Mick Jagger
to Mickey Mantle. Today, he enjoys such freedom only in his dreams.
The 67-year-old photographer has been confined to a nursing home for
five
years, the victim of a stroke that paralyzed his left side. And he’s
angry.

John Raoux, AP
Charles Todd Lee, seen in his room at the Community Care Center in
Plant City,
Fla., has lived in a nursing home for five years after suffering a
stroke.
"Most of the people come here to die, so you want to die," he
said. "It is a
prison. I can’t escape it."
Lee is among the Medicaid recipients across Florida challenging the
nightmare
of the old and disabled: to be forced from comfort and familiarity
into a
nursing h ome.
They say the state is illegally forcing them to live in nursing homes
when
they should be able to live where they choose. Advocates charge that
nursing
homes, afraid of losing money, have successfully pressured
politicians to make
qualifying for community care more difficult. They have filed a
federal
lawsuit seeking class-action status on behalf of nearly 8,500
institutionalized Floridians.
Whether the litigation gets Lee and others moved out of nursing homes
remains
to be seen. But at the very least, it has illuminated the frustration
experienced by older people or those with disabilities who say they’re
shuttled into nursing homes when they are healthy enough to live at
home, with
relatives, or in other less institutional settings.
"There are very, very, very few people who cannot be cared for
outside in the
community," said Stephen Gold, a Philadelphia disability lawyer who,
along
with AARP attorneys and others, is representing the group. "Why
should the
state give a damn whether you put the money in the left pocket of the
nursing
home or the right pocket of the community?"
Americans who qualify for Medicaid and get sick or disabled enough to
require
substantial care typically have little problem gaining admission to a
nursing
home. But obtaining Medicaid-supported services at home, such as
visits from
an aide, is substantially harder and often involves a long waiting
list, even
though it may cost the government less.
Advocates for the elderly and disabled had hoped a 1999 Supreme Court
case
would change that. The Olmstead decision, as it is known, involved
two Georgia
women, both Medicaid beneficiaries with mental retardation who wanted
community-based services, but were refused and were treated in
institutions.
The high court ruled unjustified isolation of the disabled in
institutions
amounted to discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
It said
states must provide community services if patients want them, if they
can be
accommodated and if it’s appropriate. Medicaid is the state-federal
partnership that provides health coverage and nursing home care to
the poor.
"There’s a lot of concern that the nursing home industry is very
powerful in
many states and has made sure that a lot of Medicaid dollars go to
institutional care as opp osed to home and community-based care,"
said Toby
Edelman, an attorney at the Center for Medicare Advocacy.
States have been putting more money into community services, but not
nearly
enough to meet the demand of people who would rather stay at home
than go to a
facility. Nationally, state Medicaid payments for long-term community
care
have skyrocketed since the Olmstead decision, from $17.4 billion in
1999 to
$42.8 billion last year, though spending on nursing homes and other
institutions is still substantially higher.
A total of $59.5 billion was spent last year on institutional care
through
Medicaid.
The Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, the Florida
Department of
Elder Affairs and Gov. Charlie Crist’s office b the three defendants
b all
declined to comment on the litigation. So did the attorney general’s
office,
which is representing the defendants.
In court filings, the defendants have claimed the plaintiffs lack
standing
because they haven’t proven that treatment professionals deemed
community-based care appropriate for each patient.
"Plaintiffs are not alleging that Florida’s Medicaid program has
failed to
cover their medically necessary services," the defendants
wrote. "Instead,
plaintiffs want this court to second-guess the manner by which
Florida’s
elected officials and policymakers have chosen to make those services
available in light of the state’s available resources."
The American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging
represents about
5,700 not-for-profit organizations from nursing homes to adult day
care to
in-home aides. A spokeswoman, Lauren Shaham, said there is "an
institutional
bias" in the Medicaid program that limits home and community care,
but also
noted nursing homes are needed for some of society’s frailest or most
disabled.
The American Health Care Association, which represents about 11,000
nursing
homes and long-term care facilities, a majority of them for-profit,
also said
such institutions were often most appropriate for round-the-clock
care.
Spokeswoman Susan Feeney noted, "You don’t want to be there but
sometimes for
health reasons beyond your control, you have to be."
John Boyd, 50, has been in a nursing home for the last nine years. He
hates
them. He became a quadriplegic 36 years ago when he fell off a wall
and broke
his neck.
"I can’t choose what meal I want, I can’t have a visitor after 8
o’clock b
it’s just like a prison without bars," he said. "People are making
decisions
for and about me that don’t even know me or even care about me. All
they care
about is the money they ‘re getting for me."
Copyright 2008 The Associated Press. The information contained in the
AP news
report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise
distributed
without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. Active
hyperlinks
have been inserted by AOL.
2008-09-20 03:48:38

———————————————————————-
Find phone numbers fast with the New AOL Yellow Pages!

LAGUNA HONDA LURCHES TOWARD THE 20th Century — with a lot of help
from advocates!
Congratulations to Michael Chambers and the other residents of Laguna
Honda,
to CA Protection &
Advocacy, ILRCSF, AARP Foundation Litigation, the Bazelon Center for
Mental
Health Law,
DREDF, Howrey LLP and other groups involved in this battle!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Elissa Gershon
Protection & Advocacy, Inc. (CA) c/o NDR
Phone: (510) 267-1223
E-Mail: Elissa.Gershon@pai-ca.org

September 19, 2008

Groundbreaking Settlement Agreement with San Francisco: New Housing
and
Community Services Created for Seniors and Adults with Disabilities

San Francisco – Today in federal district court, Judge William H.
Alsup granted final approval of the settlement agreement in the civil
rights class action filed to prevent unnecessary institutionalization
of people with disabilities at Laguna Honda Hospital, Chambers et al.
v. City and County of San Francisco. The settlement will greatly
increase community-based housing and service options in San Francisco
as well as improve coordination of care.

Mark Chambers, lead plaintiff in the lawsuit and someone who has lived
in Laguna Honda Hospital since 1999, was at the fairness hearing
today.
He told Judge Alsup that he was proud to represent San Franciscans
with disabilities in the case, and that he looked forward to moving
out
on his own, with services and supports. He hopes to be first in line
to qualify for one of the accessible housing units that San Francisco
will secure under the Agreement. Up to 500 city funded subsidies
will make such units affordable for class members.

The lawsuit was brought in the Northern District of California by six
individual plaintiffs who are or were residents of Laguna Honda, as
well as the Independent Living Resource Center of San Francisco
(ILRCSF) as organizational plaintiff. Co-counsel on the case are
Protection & Advocacy, Inc. (soon to be Disability Rights California),
AARP Foundation Litigation, the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law,
Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF), and the law
firm of
Howrey LLP, pro bono.

Herb Levine, Executive Director of ILRCSF, echoed Mr. Chambers’
enthusiasm, saying that "the inclusion of housing subsidies in the
agreement is a landmark event in Olmstead litigation, and we hope it
can provide a framework for future efforts to promote integration."
Olmstead refers to a 1999 Supreme Court decision, Olmstead v. L.C,
requiring states to support community-based options for people with
disabilities in order to prevent unnecessary institutionalization.

In granting final approval, Judge Alsup congratulated the parties and
said that this settlement is one of the better ones he has seen in
terms of outcomes.

Elissa Gershon, lead attorney from the Oakland office of Protection &
Advocacy, Inc., said that, "This is an exciting day for Mark and for
other Laguna Honda residents. We look forward to collaborating with
San Francisco in implementing this groundbreaking agreement, which
will
improve the lives of hundreds of San Franciscans with disabilities and
provide a model for community integration in other cities and states.

"This settlement will not only bring about changed circumstances for
class members, but a changed mindset about disability and
independence,
dignity and community integration," states DREDF’s Directing Attorney
Arlene Mayerson. "It is a step forward in recognizing that
individuals with disabilities are not just "patients," but full
members of our
communities."

Henry Su, a Howrey LLP partner on the plaintiffs’ legal team, observed
that "the settlement agreement exemplifies what the parties can
accomplish in a collaborative environment; the parties have developed
practical and workable solutions to make Olmstead real.
Congratulations to Mark and the other plaintiffs."

Jennifer Mathis, of the Bazelon Center noted, "We are very encouraged
that San Francisco is making real integration possible. Laguna Honda
residents deserve a chance to live normal lives and participate as
members of their communities."

Settlement Summary

Among its many provisions, the agreement creates an innovative program
to coordinate services across city departments, enabling San
Franciscans with disabilities who live at, or are referred to, Laguna
Honda, to instead receive community-based housing and services.
Eligible individuals will be assessed for, referred to, and provided
with subsidized housing, attendant and nursing care, case management,
substance abuse treatment, mental health services, and assistance with
meals.

In addition, several hundred Medi-Cal Home and Community-Based waiver
slots, which allow people to receive long-term health care in their
homes instead of in institutions, will be made available to those who
qualify.
These waivers should bring millions of dollars in federal and state
Medicaid funding to San Francisco.

Innovative Housing Program

Another exciting and innovative aspect of the agreement is the
development of a rental subsidy program, through which San Francisco
will, over the next five years, secure and subsidize scattered-site,
accessible, independent housing for approximately 500 people with
disabilities and seniors who are eligible for community-based
services.

To review the entire Settlement Agreement, please visit
<http://www.pai-ca.org/news/lhh/index.htm>http://www.pai-
ca.org/news/lhh/inde
x.htm

50 Arrested as ADAPT Takes Affordable, Accessible Housing Crisis to
Congress
September 17, 2008

For Information Contact;
Randy Alexander (901) 359-4982
Marsha Katz (406) 544-9504
http://www.adapt.org

50 Arrested as ADAPT Takes Affordable, Accessible Housing Crisis to
Congress

Washington, D.C.— ADAPT activists fanned out on the Hill today to
hit
congressional leaders who can help solve the housing crisis for low
income people with disabilities. Visits to the offices of Rep. Barney
Frank (D, MA), a longtime leader on housing issues, and Senators Chris
Dodd (D, CT) and Richard Shelby (R, AL), the Chair and ranking Member
of
the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs resulted
in a
total of 50 arrests.

"Last year Rep. Barney Frank told us that he could get 500 housing
vouchers from HUD that would be targeted to free people with
disabilities
who live in nursing homes and other institutions," said Diane Coleman
of
ADAPT in Rochester, New York. "He repeated that promise for months,
and
then one day he suddenly says he can’t help us. We were also working
with
him to have funding that pays for segregated housing redirected to
support
integrated housing. Sen. Frank arranged a hearing on this funding,
and not
only did he not invite any people with disabilities to testify, he
didn’t
even notify us about the hearing. So, today, we decided to confront
him on
his broken promises and bad faith."

"Last year Rep. Barney Frank told us that he could get 500 housing
vouchers from HUD that would be targeted to free people with
disabilities
who live in nursing homes and other institutions," said Diane Coleman
of
ADAPT in Rochester, New York. He repeated that promise for months, and
then one day he suddenly says he can’t help us. We were also working
with
him toB have funding that pays for segregated housing redirected to
support integrated housing. Sen. Frank arranged a hearing on this
funding,
and not only did he not invite any people with disabilities to
testify, he
didn’t even notify us about the hearing. So, today, we decided to
confront
him on his broken promises and bad faith."

Shortly after 13 ADAPT members entered Frank’s office, he ordered
staff to
have them arrested, refusing to even discuss the ADAPT concerns, or
strategies to address the housing crisis for low income people with
disabilities trapped in institutions for lack of affordable,
accessible,
integrated housing.

ADAPT went to the offices of Dodd and Shelby because HUD and housing
fall
under the purview of their committee. Sen. Shelby told ADAPT, "I don’t
help people who can’t help themselves." There were 19 arrests made in
Shelby’s office. An aide to Sen. Dodd spoke with ADAPT, then declined
to
put her remarks on paper after indicating she might be willing to do
so.
ADAPT continued to wait for the written statement, and eventually
nearly
25 people were arrested.

"The TV is full of news about the bank crisis, and the mortgage
crisis,
and the need for candidates to appeal to middle income people," said
Cassie James, Philadelphia ADAPT organizer. "Meanwhile, people who
live
on disability benefits, and people who are trapped in nursing homes
because of no housing are being held hostage while the government
bails
everyone else out. Rent has gone up so much, it’s higher than many
monthly
disability benefits. Not only do us younger people with disabilities
need
affordable, accessible housing, older people need it, too. This is a
crisis, and we need help to solve it."

# # #
FOR MORE INFORMATION on ADAPT visit our website at
http://www.adapt.org/

ACTION ALERT – ADAPT Takes theHousing Message to Congressional
Leaders!
Action Alert – ADAPT Takes the Housing Platform to Congressional
Leaders! Take Action!

Contact Housing Leaders to tell them Accessible, Affordable,
Integrated Housing – NOW!

Tuesday, September 16th at approximately 1:00 PM – ADAPT activists
have taken the ADAPT Platform on Housing to the Congressional leaders
in the position to make it happen! ADAPTers from across the nation
are in the offices of Representative Barney Frank (D-Massachusetts),
Senator Chris Dodd (D-Connecticut) and Senator Richard Shelby (R-
Alabama). They are demanding that these leaders review and endorse
the Housing platform as a means of ending the housing crisis for
people with disabilities across our nation!
They need your support! Use the attached link to send a fax or email
to each of these three Congressional Leaders. Tell them that people
with disabilities need Accessible, Affordable, Integrated Housing and
we need it NOW!

You can also call these three and give them the message – you might
hear ADAPTers chanting in the background!

Congressman Barney Frank (202) 225-5931
Senator Chris Dodd (202) 224-2823
Senator Richard Shelby (202) 224-5744

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About reality

Also, thanx for signing my petitions, et al, please consider sharing them. Also, since Admin. of change.org aren't allowing me to invite people to do my actions lately and are switching my urls for my petitions so when I invite people off their site they can't get to the petition either (ergo 3 possible urls for each petition), here's a few of my latest actions; do as few or as many as you'd like (there are 3 linx for each petition because admin. switches between the 3 of them so people trying to sign the petition can‘t get to it): This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Haiti disaster anniversary, please, do what you can: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9033 This petition on change.org: Haiti disaster anniversary: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2?share_id=yIpWHEHxri&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2 http://www.change.org/petitions/view/haiti_disaster_anniversary_2   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green, Indigenous, Native American, etc., actions: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9026 This petition on change.org: Green, Indigenous, Native American, acts: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous_native_american_acts?share_id=NHvTtQadfP&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts http://www.change.org/petitions/view/green_indigenous,_native_american_acts   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s birthday, holiday: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9024 This petition on change.org: Art/Act: celebrate Dr. M.L. King, Jr.'s holiday: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/artact_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jrs_holiday?share_id=QjOkAUGeBQ&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday http://www.change.org/petitions/view/art_act_celebrate_dr_ml_king_jr_s_holiday   This post on Disabled Greens News and discussion: Green; NA; the evolution; Civil, Human, LP, Prisoner's Rights; Poverty; etc..: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/DisabledGreensNews/message/9022 This petition on change.org: Economically empower through advocacy: http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy?share_id=WZNqBQWcXE&pe=pce http://uspoverty.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_through_advocacy http://www.change.org/petitions/view/economically_empower_throug
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