DFL Disability Caucus Legislative Issues
- Transportation: Metro Mobility, public transit, Uber, Lyft, rural transportation… transportation is a core issue of the disability community and there are many barriers to access and utilization. This is an even greater issue in rural areas where Metro Mobility doesn’t service and there is minimal public transit.
- Financial: employment, income restrictions… many people with disabilities are forced to comply with income and asset restrictions to maintain their benefits, supports, and services. This increases and perpetuates poverty. Unemployment and underemployment are major problems.
- Support services: personal care assistance (PCA) services, direct care/support, home care… There is a critical shortage of these services and it will continue to become more of a crisis as our aging population explodes. A significant factor is the lack of investment in these services to develop and retain a viable workforce. Workers are not paid a living wage for performing human services, and can’t afford to do the work. They can make more in fast food.
- Medicaid: medical, healthcare, waivers… Medicaid is a program that funds healthcare and other disability-related expenses, as well as waivers. More quality information is needed to promote awareness of the importance of a strong Medicaid program. It can pay for needs not covered by standard insurance. Waivers allow for individualized supports across multiple areas of a person’s life besides medical, such as independent living skills and employment development. Medicaid has been vulnerable to cuts and must be protected.
- Disability Integration Act: The DIA is a civil rights, bipartisan and bicameral legislation to address the issue that people who need Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) are being forced into institutions and losing their basic civil rights. This bill is an effort to end institutional bias and instead provide home and community-based services. There is a multistate effort to get more federal representatives to sign onto this Act.