Stop violations of disability rights and support independent living

Stop violations of disability rights and support independent living

June 4, 2019
Petition to State of New Jersey and
Signatures: 5,308Next Goal: 7,500
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Why this petition matters

Started by Anna Landre

I’m Anna Landre, a disabled woman and Georgetown University student, and my future is in jeopardy due to the state of this country’s healthcare provisions for disabled Americans. I have fought my insurance company and the State of New Jersey’s Medicaid policies for nearly a year in order to be able to go away to college like the rest of my peers. At the end of my freshman year, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield cut my services below a level at which I could feasibly live. Though I appealed the decision and received a Judge’s ruling in my favor, New Jersey’s Division of Medical Assistance & Health Services reversed that decision. Now, I will not be able to continue as a student at Georgetown, removing me from my community and limiting my prospects for a future career. Even if I move back home with my family, one of my parents will have to quit their jobs in order to stay home and fill the gap in my services.

In 1999, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in the landmark case of L.C. v. Olmstead that all disabled Americans have a right to supports and services necessary to maintain independent and integrated lives in our own communities. However, 20 years later, community integration is still far from a reality. In fact, many state, federal, and local policies actively restrict disabled people’s ability to get the services we need. Because of this, we remain often sequestered from the homes, schools, religious spaces, workplaces, and other communities where our nondisabled peers can thrive.

No one deserves involuntary segregation or isolation.

To prevent this from happening to anyone else and ensure meaningful community integration, we need systemic changes at the state and federal level.

The State of New Jersey must convene a working group with disabled New Jerseyans with personal and professional experience to remove bias against home-based care in New Jersey’s Medicaid programs and waivers.

The U.S. Congress must pass the Disability Integration Act, and enact further legislation that will finally ensure  all disabled people’s rights to community integration as set forth 20 long years ago by the Supreme Court.

Congress must rebuild the patient protections against Medicaid managed care organizations which have been progressively weakened by the Trump administration.

To begin to address my situation,  Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, the insurance company delivering my services through a Medicaid Managed Care contract, must stop the repeated attempts to cut my attendant care services and formally apologize.

Along with the State of New Jersey, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield must rewrite its internal policies to guarantee attendant care services coverage which truly reflects the needs of beneficiaries. Its current evaluation tools are inadequate and do not support independent living.

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield must additionally consult with disabled service recipients and policy experts on its revised policies.

Finally, the State of New Jersey, which oversees Medicaid services, must reverse its administrative decision to side with Horizon’s arbitrary and inhumane cuts to my care attendant services.    

If you have a moment, please reach out to the Office of NJ Governor Phil Murphy at 609-292-6000 and tell them you want Medicaid's disability programs to be reformed!

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Signatures: 5,308Next Goal: 7,500
Support now