Republican Policies Are Failing People with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act guarantees that no one should face discrimination based on their disability. Since the passage of the landmark civil rights law, four presidential administrations have worked to enforce the protections and regulations that ensure equality and inclusion for people with disabilities. However, the Trump administration and congressional Republicans are actively working to strip away the civil rights of disabled Americans by weakening enforcement of the ADA, including gutting the Affordable Care Act, decreasing inclusion in schools for those with disabilities, cutting independent living programs, and reducing job training and workforce accessibility programs.

While Republicans roll back protections for people with disabilities, Democrats are working to expand equal opportunities, increase participation in our workforce, and improve accessibility to independent living for people with disabilities. The ability to live in the community is a protected civil right under the ADA, and we know that home and community-based care is not only what people want, but is more cost-effective. That’s why Senate Democrats introduced the Disability Integration Act, a bipartisan bill to increase access to home and community-based care, and give people with disabilities who remain in institutions a chance to experience the same dignity and freedom as every other citizen.

Unfortunately, congressional Republicans haven’t shown any willingness to stand up for the people they’re supposed to represent. In fact, they’re making things worse:

The Republican budget would end Medicare and Medicaid as we know them in exchange for corporate tax cuts – while slashing job training and education programs that ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to thrive.

The House tax plan would trigger automatic cuts to essential programs, including $25 billion from Medicare next year alone.

The GOP tax plan would eliminate the medical expense deduction that millions of people with disabilities and their families use to help with the costs of nursing home care and other very high out-of-pocket health care costs.

The House Republican tax plan would eliminate a tax credit that incentivizes businesses to hire people with disabilities.

The GOP tax plan would eliminate a tax credit that businesses use to retrofit to be more accessible.

The Trump administration recently rescinded education guidelines that detail the rights of students with disabilities in schools.