Statement from ICS President and CEO Regina Martinez-Estela on the passage of the IRA
September 30, 2022
Brooklyn — While the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) is indeed historic and important, it also leaves out several provisions that would have greatly supported people with disabilities.
Like our colleagues at CCD, ICS is also thankful that Congress has passed the IRA. However, the glaring omission of vital programs that would help our members to lead better, more independent lives like funding of housing, community based care, investing in home care and transportation once again leaves our members and all adults with physical disabilities without the infrastructure to peruse their protected rights under the Olmstead Decision to live independently in their communities.
Indeed, it caps the cost of insulin for those on Medicare at $35 a month. It allows Medicare to negotiate the price of some drugs. And, it caps annual prescription costs for those on Medicare at $2,000 annually. These are major victories.
Where it fails is securing an overdue investment in Medicaid home and community-based services. Many, including ICS, have advocated for the expansion of such services, especially with more adults and people with disabilities aging and wanting to live at home while remaining independent in their communities. The Senate’s exclusion of this provision will disproportionately harm people with disabilities of color, who are more likely to be forced into institutions. People with disabilities face a number of challenges securing services they need, from shortages in staff to gaps in available services.
Additionally, the bill fails to address affordable housing shortages, paid leave or child care, and fails to make expanded tax credits permanent, while not expanding Medicaid to people who need it in every state that hasn’t expanded Medicaid yet.
As a collective, we still have much work to do. ICS will continue to advocate for the rights and services that people with disabilities deserve – and need – to thrive in their communities, now and always. Our population has to be content with the crumbs while others are invited to the table. We are calling on Congress to do better for people with physical disabilities.
Contact: Chris Engelhardt