The current debate over
After touring the facility in 1965,
In recent decades, the country has shifted away from institutions like Willowbrook and toward programs that allow people like Somoza, who has cerebral palsy and spastic quadriplegia, to remain in their own homes. But she and other disability advocates worry that the
In every state,
Those services have helped Somoza earn a graduate degree, hold down a job, and live independently in her family's home in
About 10.9 million disabled people were on
In response to disability rights activism,
Republican backers of
But Cannon also suggested that states might find ways to continue providing such services. They could, for example, recruit more young and healthy people into their
"States have always gamed
The fears among advocates for the disabled are well-founded, he said. But, he said,
A Fundamental Change
Since its creation in 1965,
In many states, there already are waiting lists for disabled
Berland also said the proposed
'Life or Death'
He noted that the Republican bill allows for higher per capita caps for disabled people on
That uncertainty is terrifying to many of the disabled and their families. Somoza, for example, said that without the health aide she and her sister share, they might not be able to continue to live at home with their elderly parents. The aide, Somoza said, helps them get washed and dressed in the morning, prepares meals for them, drives them to and from work and gets them ready for bed.
"That personal care is literally life or death to many of us," she said.
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