A Return to Isolation and Institutions Are Bad For Bryan and Bad for the Country: Watch Bryan as The Arc Denounces Massive Cut to Medicaid

Posted by The Arc of North Carolina
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, The Arc released a video which highlights how the House-passed cut to Medicaid funding will negatively impact people with disabilities’ capacity to live independently.
The video features Bryan Dooley, from Lewisville, North Carolina, who has relied on Medicaid since birth for assistance with a variety of medical and other needs, including a personal attendant. Without the support of an attendant, Bryan would be stuck at home, and without this Medicaid-funded support, he would not have graduated from college, gotten his job, nor volunteered in his community. Bryan and his personal attendant are both working people contributing to their community.
Recently, the House of Representatives passed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which included over $800 billion in cuts over 10 years to federal funding for Medicaid programs. The Arc is launching this video amidst negotiations in the Senate on this bill. The AHCA cut would not only force states to cut eligibility for state Medicaid programs, but will also diminish the quality and quantity of services that are provided to people who are already enrolled in these programs. For many people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, Medicaid generally is the only source of funds for them to live and work in the community with friends and families and avoid costly, harmful, and segregated institutions.
 
“If I could say one thing to the President and the Congress, it would be my community has worked much too hard to move away from institutions. I will not let us go backwards; it is bad for me and bad for my country,” says Bryan in the video.
 
“Bryan is living an independent life of his choosing, contributing to his community and thriving. These drastic cuts to Medicaid could take it all away from Bryan and the millions of other people with disabilities who rely on daily supports and services to function in the community. The AHCA takes away independence, dignity, and decades of progress. We must now rely on the Senate stop this catastrophe,” said Marty Ford, Senior Executive Officer, The Arc.
 
John Nash, Executive Director for The Arc of North Carolina, says: “Brian’s story is just one of the many great examples of how Medicaid makes a difference in the lives of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities in North Carolina. Medicaid is not an expense; it is an investment in our society. It is an investment that pays unimaginable dividends in terms of quality of life, independence, and the ability to be productive and give back to the community. For Brian and so many others just like him in North Carolina, the cost of cutting Medicaid would be devastating to individuals, to their families, to their communities, and to our society as a whole.”
 
This video is the fourth in a series of videos The Arc is releasing, sharing the personal stories of people with disabilities and their families, and the impact of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Medicaid on their lives. The first video featured nine people who rely on the ACA and/or Medicaid, and each one has a personal message for Members of Congress and the Trump Administration. The second video illustrates how Congress’ proposed changes to the ACA would negatively impact Americans with disabilities and their families. The video features an interview with Toby, Lindsay, and Calvin from Fairfax, VA. Calvin has Bilateral Fronto-Parietal Polymicrogyria and Cerebral Palsy and relies on multiple insurance plans to cover his medical and therapeutic treatments. The Arc has also released a video featuring Thelma who relies on Medicaid to employ a health aide who helps her perform daily household tasks that she can no longer perform by herself.
 
The Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of over 650 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.
 
Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.