For the past two weeks Denver ADAPT has been taking shifts at the Colorado Capitol building, in an effort work on the budget cuts at the state level that are starting to take a toll on the Atlantis Community and other home healthcare agencies. We’ve visited every member of the Joint Budget and House and Senate Appropriations Committee’s and marched down to Gov. Bill Ritter’s office to demand that they work with ADAPT to end the institutional bias.
While HCBS has already taken a 4.5% (with another 1% coming soon, and a threatened 20% cut on nursing rates,) the nursing homes continue to get their raises. Denver ADAPT has been there everyday to tell the state lawmakers that enough is enough and that if the budget is going to ever be balanced in a way that doesn’t cost human lives then you’re going to have to cut some of the funding from institutions; we’ve even gone as far as asking (oh my,) for a late bill in this session that calls for an end to the institutional bias.
And some lawmakers are listening.
Yesterday Rep. Riesberg told us that not only would he make sure that our literature would end up on all of his 100 of his colleagues desks, he also told us he would be going to Health Care Policy and Finance to see why they were cutting the vital nursing visits that people with disabilities need so badly.
We’ve also accomplished meetings with 5 other Representatives. With the midterm elections coming up many of them flinched when we asked for a late bill to end the institutional bias by taking away compulsory raises for nursing homes, but none of them have told us flat out “no.” But the hard work continues, as we speak there are two more ADAPTer’s at the Capitol who are advocating for our late bill.
Tomorrow we start round two with the JBC, Appropriations and the Governor; ADAPT doesn’t plan on resting until the institutions have to play by the same rules as the rest of us.
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