MAKING THE CASE FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE ILSNC is in

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MAKING THE CASE FOR UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE ILSNC is in Powered By Docstoc
					   MAKING THE CASE FOR
UNIVERSAL HEALTH COVERAGE
ILSNC is in strong support of a bill             in every five Californians. As health
in the California Senate proposing                 insurance costs skyrocket at double
universal healthcare for all                        digit rates every year, employers are
Californians. S B 8 4 0 , the                        reducing coverage and dropping
California
California Health Insurance                          benefits altogether. The increase in
Reliability Act (CHIRA) will
              Act (CHIRA),                           high-risk “catastrophic” health plans,
cover all Californians with                          with unaffordable deductibles and co-
comprehensive health insurance                     payments, have completely failed to
and give them the ability to choose their        stem the rise in costs. Instead, half of all
own physicians. This model is estimated          bankruptcies in the United States are
to save $8 billion in statewide healthcare       now related to medical costs and three
spending in the first year alone, as well        quarters of those bankrupted families
as saving money for families, businesses,        had health insurance at the time they
individuals and local governments.               became ill or injured. The simple truth is
  Over 6.5 million Californians, or more         that average Californians can no longer
than 20% of the state’s population, went         rely on their health insurance when they
without insurance in 2003. That’s one            become ill or injured.

  The United States spends twice as much per person as every other industrialized country
on health care, yet we are the only industrialized nation where people go bankrupt because
of medical costs. We have fewer physicians per capita than many other industrialized
                                                                             system
countries, and fewer hospital visits. Most importantly, our health care system ranks
           bottttom
at the bottom of industrialized nations, according to the World Health
Organization. All that money hasn’t bought us better health care, so where is it going?
  A recent Boston University study found that our current system wastes nearly 50% of all
health spending on clinical and administrative waste. It is estimated that, by streamlining
the administrative functions of thousands of different insurance companies, California could
shift $20 billion in the first year from administration into direct health care. Also, by


                                                                                                  For ALTERNATIVE FORMATS of this newsletter,
consolidating California’s purchasing power for pharmaceuticals, California could shift an
additional $5.3 billion into direct health care. Finally, by providing preventative and primary
                  California                           sav
care to everyone, California could actually save an additional $3.4 billion
                                                                                                  please contact ILSNC at 800-464-8527.
        irst ear.
       fir year
in the first year.
  CHIRA will affordably cover every Californian with a high quality of care and
comprehensive benefits. Every Californian will be covered by an insurance plan that
provides medical, dental, vision and prescription drug coverage, including hospitalization,
emergency room care and transportation, laboratory work, skilled nursing care, mental
health care, drug addiction rehabilitation and chiropractic care.
  Californians want access to this kind of high-quality, affordable health care. Most
importantly, they want a health care system they can rely on. CHIRA gives every
Californian reliable health insurance along with freedom of choice. Please take a stand in
support of real health reform. Call Senator Sam Aanestad at (530) 470-1846.

  INDEPENDENT LIVING SERVICES OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA
  1161 East Ave., Chico, 95926 1411 Yuba St., Redding, 96001
Access Awareness
 A      ssembly Concurrent Resolu-
tion 29 (or ACR 29), by
Assemblymember Tim Leslie, cel-
ebrates the 15th anniversary of the
enactment of the Americans with
Disabilities Act and designates the
month of July, 2005, Access Aware-
ness Month.
   The ADA is one of our most
significant civil rights victories.
Passage of this act affirmed the civil
rights of millions of Americans, fol-
lowing in the footsteps of such civil
rights achievements as the 15th and
19th Amendments to the United
States Constitution, Brown v. Board
of Education, and passage of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964.
   In the fifteen years since the ADA
was enacted, many advances have
                                            Who’s Afraid of the ADA?
been made to break down barriers.           NOT THOSE WITH ACCURATE INFORMATION
ACR 29 will bring much needed               ON ADA ACCESS REQUIREMENTS
focus to the issue of access.
   ACR 29 celebrates the 15th anni-
versary of the enactment of the ADA,
                                            O       n April 19, 2005, ILSNC teamed up with the Chico Chamber of Commerce
                                            to present a new workshop entitled, “Who’s Afraid of the ADA?” The goal of the
a great civil rights achievement            seminar was to provide business owners with accurate and up-to-date
among many in American history.             information on the access requirements of the federal Americans with Disabilities
    In recognition of the anniversary       Act (ADA).
and the fact that ADA compliance is            With the growing tension in the business community regarding access law
still an issue in California, ACR 29        compliance, we believe that lack of information is the chief cause of controversy.
designates July, 2005, Access               In an effort to ameliorate the situation and dispel myths about ADA compliance,
Awareness Month.                            Executive Director, Evan LeVang, and Program Specialist, Dan Halliday,
     Many business owners do not            provided an overview that emphasized a proactive approach.
clearly understand their rights, duties        Another focus of the meeting was the concept of “readily achievable”
and obligations under the ADA.              modifications and how the ADA was designed to prevent business bankruptcies.
    ACR 29 is a great way for the           Participants were also updated by both legislative staff and disability activists
State to lead the effort in helping busi-   on bills pending in the State Legislature aimed at curbing “ADA lawsuit abuse.”
nesses understand what they need            The many resources and services available to business owners were covered,
to do to comply with the ADA.               as well.
   ILSNC is planning a July celebra-           The workshop was covered in Chico’s local daily newspaper, The Enterprise
tion to kick off Access Awareness
                                            Record, quoting LeVang and highlighting his strong support of bringing
Month. We’ll keep you informed as
details become available.                                   wners
                                                          owner                             ocates ogether
                                                                                       advocat toge
                                            business owners and disability advocates together.
                                               For ADA questions, call Dan Halliday at (530) 893-8527.

INDEPENDENT LIFE                                                                              2    ACCESS AWARENESS
                                                                                               15
                                                                                               years!
   By Christen Derr


  T      he Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the most com-
         prehensive federal civil rights statute protecting the rights of
  people with disabilities. Though it has been amended several times
                                                                                           The ADA states that people with
                                                                                        disabilities must have equal access
                                                                                        to health care provided by both the
  since its passage in 1990 and is undergoing continuous interpreta-
                                                                                        public and private sectors and that
  tion in the courts, the ADA stands as the main point of advocacy for
                                                                                        the care is provided in the most
  the rights of people with disabilities throughout the United States.
                                                                                        integrated setting appropriate. It also
    The legal and political roots of the ADA are deep in the civil rights               protects children with disabilities
  era of the 1960s. This is true in both a formal legal and a political                 from discrimination in admission to
  sense. During the 1970s and up to the present, activism among                         childcare and guarantees reason-
  people with disabilities has become increasingly visible, both                        able modifications in policies, prac-
  nationally and internationally. The emergence of the Disability Rights                tices and procedures to allow full
  and Independent Living Movements has been critical to the devel-                      participation in childcare programs.
  opment of state and federal disability policy leading up to and
                                                                                           Since the ADA’s inception 15
  including the ADA.
                                                                                        years ago, disability activism has
    Among its accomplishments, the ADA protects the right of people with                been directed toward “independent
  disabilities to have equal access to the basic institutions of state and local        living” issues related to the devel-
  government. Solutions have been sought to eliminate physical, commu-                  opment of services and resources
  nication and policy barriers in law enforcement, town halls, jails, court-            needed to support the personal
  rooms and legislative chambers. In addition, by lowering barriers to edu-             independence of people with disabil-
  cational and professional advancement, the ADA has opened up jobs for                 ities and to expand options for living
  people with disabilities.                                                             in the community and participating
                                                                                        fully in community life.
    A primary goal of the ADA is to bring people with disabilities into the
  mainstream of the American economy. It achieves greater accessibility in                Rest assured, the discussion and
  a wide variety of private sector settings, including shopping, dining, rec-           often-heated debate will continue
  reation and business/leisure travel. It attempts to ensure that environ-              about how to properly interpret the
  mental accessibility issues are decided with an eye on the future and its             Americans with Disabilities Act. Its
  possibilities. To that end, the ADA requires all new construction and alter-          contributions to a healthier life for
  ations to meet specific architectural design standards.                               many, though, cannot be denied.




INDEPENDENT LIFE                                                                   3   THE ADA: A CONCISE HISTORY
    IMPORTANT NOTICE
    FOR IHSS RECIPIENTS
    Do you receive In-Home Supportive Services (IHSS)
    or work for an individual who receives IHSS? The
    State is making changes that will directly impact the
    amount of hours you get per month and your ability
    to defend yourself at a State fair hearing if your hours
    are cut.


    T      he State of California is in the process of
           developing “Time-for-Task” guidelines and                                                  What you
    instructions for personal care services. Once                                                     can do:
    this document has been developed, the state
    will require the “Time-for-Task” document and                                                    Write a letter
    its instructions to be used by all workers in the                                                to the work-
    state of California in determining how many
    hours of IHSS services an individual can get
                                                                                                     group telling
    per month. This means that your hours will not                                                    them how
    be based entirely on your actual need.                                                            important
       The “Time for Task Guidelines” document will                                                   your IHSS
    define all of the different kinds of services that IHSS pays for and will give a range of        services are.
    minutes a person can get per task (e.g. feeding, dressing, bathing, etc.) each month,
    as well as a listing of the factors that may justify more or less time. The State plans          If you need accom-
    on having this document completed and implemented by June 30, 2006.
                                                                                                     modations to attend
       The meetings are being coordinated by the “IHSS Time-for-Task Workgroup” in
                                                                                                     meetings (e.g., later
    Sacramento. At one April meeting, not even one person who
                                       meeting, not ev                    person                     time, participate by
    receives                services was
    receives IHSS services was there. At that meeting, County IHSS social                            phone, materials in
    workers said IHSS recipients did not need to be there, that the county workers could             alternative formats,
    represent the interests of IHSS recipients. Do you believe that?                                 transportation, etc.),
       There needs to be as many IHSS recipients as possible at these meetings so the                OR need directions,
    committee members know how attendant care is different for everyone; so the                      contact the following:
    committee comes up with a valid time range for services; so that the time-for-task
    guidelines include enough exception criteria. Only with the involvement of IHSS                  andrea.allgood@
    recipients can we ensure that they will continue to receive the service hours they               dss.ca.gov or
    need, and that they will not lose the hours they need to remain living independently.            Brian Koepp at
       ILSNC has joined advocates in organizing a response to the lack of consumer                   brian.koepp@
    input. Contact Dan Grover in our Chico office at (530) 893-8527 if you are interested.           dss.ca.gov.



INDEPENDENT LIFE                                                                          4     IMPORTANT IHSS NOTICE
Social Security
         and People with
                  Disabilities
           Prepared by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities




S    ocial Security provides benefits to 47 million
     people. They include over seven million people with
disabilities, their spouses and children. When most people
talk about Social Security changes, they only discuss
retirement benefits. This is a very serious concern for                · Disability Insurance—Disabled workers, their children
people with disabilities and their families because changes              and spouses
in the program will have a huge impact on everyone who                 · Retirement Insurance—Retirees with disabilities,
gets benefits, not just people who retire.                               disabled adult children, and retired spouses, including
ILSNC and the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities                  those with disabilities
(CCD) believe that any changes in the Social Security                  · Survivors Insurance —Disabled adult children, minor
program must follow these principles:                                    children, including those with disabilities, and disabled
· Keep Social Security’s current structure based on                      widow(er)s
  payroll taxes.
· Preserve Social Security as a social insurance                       More than one-third of all monthly Social Security checks go
  program for everyone who is eligible.                                to over 17 million people who are not retired. They include
· Guarantee monthly benefits adjusted for inflation.                   over seven million people with disabilities, their spouses
· Preserve Social Security to meet the needs of people                 and children:
  who are eligible now and in the future.                              · Almost 6 million disabled workers. To qualify they must have
· Restore Social Security’s long-term financial stability.               a severe disability that is expected to last at least 12 months
                                                                         or result in death.
The disability community urges Congress to request a
                                                                       · About 1.6 million minor children of disabled workers.
beneficiary impact statement on every major
                                                                       · About 759,000 disabled adult children. These individuals
component of any serious proposal. In a program that
                                                                         have a severe disability that began before age 22. They
affects millions of individuals of all ages, it is essential
                                                                         qualify when a parent becomes disabled, retires or dies. They
for policymakers to look beyond the budgetary changes
                                                                         get benefits from different Social Security programs
to understand the actual impact on people’s daily lives.
                                                                         depending on their parent’s status.
How Does Social Security Help People
How                               People                               · Over 200,000 disabled widow(er)s.
with Disabilities and Their Families?
                            Families?
                                                                                                     Family
                                                                       Social Security is Social and Family Insurance
“Social Security” is the short name for the Title II Old               Everyone who contributes to Social Security shares the risk of
Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance [OASDI]                        the common life events of death, retirement and disability. A
programs. It insures individuals and family members                    wage earner contributes taxes to earn benefits, but different
when a worker retires, dies or becomes disabled.                       members of his/her family also qualify. This approach is called
People with disabilities and their families receive Social
Security benefits from all three programs:                                                    continued on page 7


 INDEPENDENT LIFE                                                 5    SOCIAL SECURITY AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
S    pringtime means action for ILSNC and the DOGFITE team. We’ve taken
     several trips to Sacramento for various rallies and demonstrations in support
of IHSS and SB 840. We are confident that legislators are hearing our message
and we’re gathering enough momentum to force the governor to back down from
his unfortunate plans for people with disabilities.                                      ILSNC’s Dan Grover with Kristina Shepard,
  In January, we met with Butte County Supervisors Jane Dolan and Mary Anne newly crowned Ms. Wheelchair California, at
Houx to discuss many disability related issues, including IHSS. February saw two the kickoff rally for SB 840 in February.
events at the Capitol: the Have a Heart Rally to deliver Valentine’s cards in support of homecare to the governor’s office and
the kickoff rally for SB 840 (see cover story), where ILSNC’s Dan Grover forged an alliance with Kristina Shepard, a disability
advocate and Ms. Wheelchair California. The two of them reunited on March 14th to meet with Paul Deiro, Senator Aanestad’s
Chief of Staff, to discuss ILSNC services and the IHSS budget issue. They were also afforded the opportunity to meet with
Sheila Kuehl (author of SB 840) and Senator Wes Chesbro.
  On March 17th, we traveled to Sacramento again to attend a rally and Senate Budget hearing to protect homecare. Judy
Taylor, a new DOGFITE member, testified at the hearing. Disability activists met once again on April 6th to attend the Assembly
Budget hearing on proposed IHSS wage and benefit rollbacks. The group also delivered informational packets to legislators
on this trip. Thanks to the massive turnout, which jammed the committee room early, then proceeded to jam the overflow room,
the hallways outside the committee room and the cafeteria, the Assembly Budget Subcommittee 1 on Health and Human
                                                                       services voted to reject the administration’s proposal to
                                                                       reduce the State’s participation in IHSS to minimum
                                                                       wage. There IS power in numbers! Kudos to all who
                                                                       attended.
                                                                          For those responding to our petition requesting support
                                                                       for fair wages and health benefits for Butte County homecare
                                                                       workers, we sincerely thank you. Over 1,200 were collected
                                                                       over a three-week period and delivered to the Board of
                                                                       Supervisors. This outpouring of tremendous community
                                                                       support is exactly what is needed if we are to continue
                                                                       fighting for just resolutions to issues affecting all people with
                                                                       disabilities. And DOGFITE is committed to doing just that.

                                                                             If you would like to join us as a DOGFITE volunteer, please
                                                                           call Dan Grover at (530) 893-8527. You’ll get a free t-shirt
Who let the dawgs out? DOGFITE members at the April 6th Assembly Budget
                                                                           with the DOGFITE logo on it, along with the satisfaction of
Subcommittee hearing in Sacramento                                         doing something to benefit the entire community.

 INDEPENDENT LIFE                                                                          6    D.O.G.F.I.T.E. TAKES ACTION
SOCIAL SECURITY, from page 5
                                                                         · Families of workers who become disabled need a
                                                                           guaranteed income. The current value of Social Security
“social insurance.” It means that everyone pays into a pool                is equal to a disability insurance policy worth $353,000
of money to cover themselves and their family if they can no               for a young worker who has a spouse and two young
longer work. After they die, their surviving spouse and children           children. Most will never need it, but it is there if they do.
may continue to get benefits.                                              And, it is otherwise unlikely that they could have afforded
   Even younger workers and their families qualify for disability          to buy such insurance.
and survivor’s benefits. They receive these important insurance
benefits under special eligibility rules.                                  Private disability insurance is not the answer. Only about
   Once eligible, workers and their families can expect a set            28 percent of private sector workers had long-term disability
payment each month. Benefits are adjusted yearly for inflation           insurance in 2003. Compared to Social Security, individually
to protect their value. Some people move among Social                    purchased private disability insurance generally is not
Security’s three programs based on their work history, age or            adjusted for inflation, not designed to cover children of
eligibility category. Workers with disabilities are a good example:      disabled workers, and not available to workers with
when they reach “normal” retirement age, their benefits convert          disabilities and other health problems.
automatically from disability to retirement insurance and their                                               ork
                                                                                         Reduces Po erty for Wor ers
                                                                         Social Security Reduces Poverty for Workers
benefit amount stays the same.
                                                                                                   Families
                                                                         with Disabilities & Their Families
                               Re
Social Security Disability and Retirement                                  Although Social Security reduces poverty, disabled
                   Formula
Insurance Use Same Formula                                               workers and their families still struggle financially.
  Workers qualify for both disability and retirement benefits by         But without Social Security, their circumstances would be
paying Social Security taxes. The portion of income replaced             even worse:
depends on each worker’s average earnings. Benefits favor                · The poverty rate among disabled workers who receive
workers with lower earnings who get a larger share of income               Social Security and their families is twice as high as other
replaced. In other words, the benefit formula is designed to               people who get benefits. However, it is estimated that 55
provide a higher replacement rate for lower income wage                    percent of families of disabled workers would live in
earners so that they can receive an adequate income.                       poverty without Social Security benefits.
  Any changes in Social Security will affect individuals with            · Social Security is half or more of the total family income
disabilities and their families since all programs use the same            for about one in two disabled worker beneficiaries.
formula to calculate benefits. Since people with disabilities now
get all three types of benefits, changes to any part of Social             The disability community urges
Security will affect them and their families.                              Congress to request a beneficiary
                              for People
Social Security is Essential for People with                               impact statement on every major
                     Families
Disabilities & Their Families                                              component of any serious proposal.
   People can plan for retirement over many years. But disability          In a program that affects millions
affects anyone at any time and often is completely unexpected.             of individuals of all ages, it is
People with disabilities need Social Security benefits because:            essential for policymakers to look
· Millions of families face disability. About 3 in 10 men and 1 in         beyond the budgetary changes to
  4 women become disabled before reaching normal
  retirement age.
· Adults with serious disabilities have a very low employment            Produced by the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, 1660 L
  rate. According to a 2004 Harris Survey, only 35 percent of            Street NW, Suite 701, Washington, DC 20036. See www.c-c-d.org.
  people with disabilities reported working full or part time,           CCD, a coalition of over 100 national consumer, provider and
                                                                         advocacy organizations, advocates for national public policy to
  compared to 78 percent of those who do not have disabilities.          ensure the self determination, independence, empowerment,
  Disabilities can interfere with the ability to work until normal       integration and inclusion of the 54 million children and adults with
  retirement age and save for a family’s future.                         disabilities living in the United States.


 INDEPENDENT LIFE                                                7    SOCIAL SECURITY AND PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
E       very hour of every day, someone in Butte County
needs essential services—from finding employment or
                                                                   advice). You’ll find program information describing services,
                                                                   eligibility, location, hours, phone numbers and any fees. Link
housing to locating substance abuse treatment programs. In         directly to an agency’s website or to a map of the location.
many cases, people end up going without necessary and              Send an email with your questions to an agency contact
readily available services                                                                              person. You can also print
because they do not                                                                                     the information page for
know where to start or                                                                                  future reference or email it
how to make contact.                                                                                    to a friend.
   The Butte County                                                                                        HelpCentral.org is also
Information & Referral                                                                                  providing abbreviated dir-
Project, HelpCentral.org,                                                                               ectories of services that can
has created an online                                                                                   be printed from the website.
resource guide to help people quickly locate the services          From the homepage, look for the link to the newly updated
available in Butte County. A searchable database at                Low Cost No Cost Directory of People Services and print your
www.helpcentral.org contains over 700 programs offering            own copy. There are also quick links to a resource page in
low cost or no cost services to residents of Butte County.         Spanish and to the 24-hour crisis line phone numbers.
   From your home, office, or any public access computer with
an Internet connection, it’s easy to search for services. Just     HelpCentral.org is helping Butte County residents get
click the big “Find Help Fast” button on www.helpcentral.org.      connected to the services they need. If you have
You can search for services in three ways—by category,             questions, comments or suggestions, please contact
keyword or agency name (click on the “search tips” link for        HelpCentral.org at 879-2455.




                                                       through funds provided by the City of Chico, CA.
       A United Way Agency                                                                                    ilsncrdg@sunset.net
                                                       This publication has been made possible in part
                                                                                                              f: 530.241.1454
                                                                                                              t: 530.242.8550
                                                                                                              Redding, CA 96001
                                                                                                              1411 Yuba Street


                                                                                                                 info@ilsnc.org
                                                                                                                 f: 530.893.8574
                                                                                                                   800.464.8527
                                                                                                                t: 530.893.8527
                                                                                                                Chico, CA 95926
                                                                                                                  1161 East Ave.

                                                                                     www.ilsnc.org
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