“It would basically be the end of days for us. It wouldn’t help us at all, it would be useless.”
About 200 people gathered outside Senator Cory Gardner’s Denver office at lunchtime on Thursday July 7th to show their opposition to the Republican proposed healthcare bill that the Senate is set to debate next week.
Many in the crowd were disability rights activists who say that losing Medicaid would be life ending for them, who rely on the funds to get care that allows them to live independently in the community.
Kelley Pasmanick, the new Independent Living Manager at Atlantis Inc., a disability rights group that advocates for people with disabilities to live in the community instead of being put into nursing homes, told KGNU’s Elena Klaver that she was at the protest to make sure that people with disabilities convey how serious the cuts to Medicaid would be for them. Many people rely on Medicaid funding to allow them to live independently in the community, which is actually a cheaper option than care in a nursing home. “It would basically be the end of days for us. It wouldn’t help us at all, it would be useless.”
Pasmanick says that the disabled are the largest minority group in the country and as such should have a louder voice when it comes to healthcare. “Disability doesn’t discriminate, so if you think about how many people rely on these services nationwide, we should have more of a voice, as the largest minority group in the country and it’s a shame that we don’t so I’m doing my part to give us one.”
Last week a group of disability rights activists were arrested after a multi day sit-in at Gardner’s Denver office. Gardner has yet to meet with any of the protestors and did not schedule any town-hall meetings while he was home for the July 4 recess.
State representatives Joe Salazar and Irene Aguilar also addressed the crowd and urged them to keep raising their voices in opposition to the bill.