Protestors Rally to Keep Medicaid Services

A protestor holds a sign expressing the sentiments of the gathering on Sept. 21. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

A protestor at a Sept. 21 rally against potential cuts to federal health care programs. Photo by Mary C. Piemonte.

Seniors and people with disabilities rallied outside of Federal Plaza in downtown Chicago this week, chanting “We will not be silent,” in an attempt to block cuts to Medicaid and Medicare.

The protestors were responding to on-going negotiations by the congressional “Super-Committee,” which is seeking ways to reduce the federal deficit, and may propose cuts to existing federal government programs.

The protestors gathered on Sept. 21 represented diverse organizations around the city and demanded that Illinois’ U.S. Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Mark Kirk (R-IL) “expand the use of home and community-based services; de-medicalize community services; expand consumer directed service options; reorganize Medicaid services to eliminate wasteful bureaucracy; and defend Social Security.”

The protest was organized by ADAPT and the Taskforce for Attendant Services, an advocacy group of Access Living, which is an organization for people with disabilities. The event was held “in solidarity” with a national protest happening in Washington D.C. and other protests throughout the country, according to Tom Wilson, an organizer with Access Living.

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