Clinton Campaign Response to REV UP Questionnaire

Rectangular REV UP logo - "REV UP!" with the V as a check mark is in the center of the image. The top line of the image reads "Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!" The bottom part of the image reads "Make the DISABILITY VOTE count!"

The REV UP Campaign aims to increase the political power of the disability community while also engaging candidates and the media on disability issues. REV UP stands for Register! Educate! Vote! Use your Power!

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) collaborated to create this presidential questionnaire in order to learn more about how the candidates would address issues important to the disability community. The questionnaire was sent out to all presidential candidates on 20+ state ballots.

Secretary Clinton is the first candidate of the 2016 presidential election to complete the REV UP Presidential Candidate Questionnaire.

 

We want a response from all candidates – take action to help us make this happen!

  • Tweet Secretary Clinton to thank her for completing the questionnaire:

@HillaryClinton thank you for completing the #REVUP Presidential Candidate Questionnaire on #disability issues! https://goo.gl/C8jbUi

  • Tweet the other candidates to encourage them to complete the questionnaire:

@DarrellCastle – @HillaryClinton completed the #REVUP Questionnaire for 35 mil voters w/ disabilities. Will you? https://goo.gl/C8jbUi

@GovGaryJohnson – @HillaryClinton completed the #REVUP Questionnaire for 35 mil voters w/ disabilities. Will you? https://goo.gl/C8jbUi

@DrJillStein – @HillaryClinton completed the #REVUP Questionnaire for 35 mil voters w/ disabilities. Will you? https://goo.gl/C8jbUi

 

Secretary Clinton’s responses to the REV UP Presidential Candidate Questionnaire:

 

1. LEADERSHIP

The Government Accountability Office (GAO) recent publication, “High Risk Series” (2015), clearly points out the vast problems of administration and effectiveness of federal disability programs. These very same problems have been cited in previous reports spanning over twenty years. To address these issues, reform must begin within the Executive Branch. A recent report by the Romano Group, LCC proposed establishing a National Office of Disability Coordination (NODC) in the Executive Office of The President of the United States. This office would be responsible for developing coordinated federal disability policies and advise the President on necessary changes in the organization, management, budgeting, and personnel allocation of the federal agencies involved in all aspects of disability.

Will you commit to creating a National Office of Disability Coordination to be headed by a cabinet level executive?

What are you doing to make sure qualified people with disabilities will be a part of your political team and, if elected, as part of your administration?

Answer:

One of my priorities as president, as it has been throughout my career, will be to ensure that all individuals living with disabilities have the same opportunities as everyone else in our society. If elected, I will work to ensure that all federal programs provide equal access to the services they provide. I will direct my administration to explore ways to improve programs and create systemic change, including the possible creation of a National Office of Disability Coordination.   As we head into the 26th year of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we have an important and honorable responsibility to uphold these rights and set an example for the rest of the world. That is why we made it a priority to feature disability issues and individuals people with disabilities in my campaign’s policy statements and at the Democratic National Convention.

I have been fully committed to partnering with leaders of the disability community throughout my career, and I have appreciated their counsel throughout this election. I am proud to have some of the top leaders of this community as part of my team.  Having individuals with disabilities advising me is an important part of making sure that I am including diverse voices and perspectives in all areas of my work.  Including these voices is not only important in this election, but will absolutely be the case in my administration if I am elected.

 

2. REDUCING UNEMPLOYMENT AND ENSURING EMPLOYMENT OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE FEDERAL WORKFORCE

People with disabilities experience one of the highest rates of unemployment of any minority group. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2015 the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was at 12.1%, which is nearly three times higher than the 4.8% unemployment rate of people without disabilities.[2] The next administration must make employment for people with disabilities a top priority.

A. REHABILITATION ACT

Although legislation such as the Rehabilitation Act has served to advance and expand the opportunities of people with disabilities in the workforce, there are still many barriers that must be considered and overcome to increase employment for people with disabilities to comparable levels for people without disabilities.

What will you do to strengthen Section 501 of the Rehabilitation Act and ensure the Federal government is a model employer of people with disabilities?

How will you ensure the provisions under Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act will be fully enforced by the Department of Labor and that Federal contractors will meet their affirmative action obligations under the law?

Answer:

I appreciate the work that Commissioner Chai Feldblum of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has undertaken to advance regulations for Section 501, and the EEOC’s dedication to receiving input from the disability community.  It is important that the federal government set an example of the importance and value of hiring individuals with disabilities, and I will work to ensure that the final regulations under Section 501 are enforced.

The Department of Labor (DOL) has taken tremendous steps in recent years to support the inclusion of people with disabilities in federal programs, and I will build on these efforts as president, including Section 503 enforcement. With close to 20 percent of Americans living with disabilities, we must take the necessary steps to help increase employment opportunities. I have spoken out about the issue of building an inclusive economy, including for people with disabilities, in this campaign, and I am committed to doing so as president. 

 

B. FAIR WAGES

Many people with disabilities are underemployed. Despite similar education, people with disabilities who are working earn less on average than workers without disabilities. The median earnings for workers with disabilities is less than two thirds the median wages for workers without disabilities (Disability Statistics & Demographics Rehabilitation Research and Training Center, 2011). Furthermore, the 1937 Section 14c provision of the Fair Labor Standards Act authorizes employers to pay sub-minimum wages to workers who have disabilities.

Do you plan to phase out the 1937 Section 14c of the Fair Labor Standards Act?

How will you expand supported employment services to people with disabilities?

How do you plan to build an infrastructure to address the underemployment and wage gaps experienced by people with disabilities?

Answer:

Employment of people with disabilities is an incredibly challenging and important issue.  We must examine all of the contributing factors to the high levels of unemployment including access to education, outdated federal policies, disincentives in our federal policies and legislation, lack of access to adequate transportation, and inadequate funding. People with disabilities are an essential part of our workforce, and it is important to analyze and remove all of the barriers to ensuring them equal access, so that we can all benefit from their contributions. We made a promise to Americans when we passed the ADA, and I intend to keep that promise by changing the landscape of employment for people with disabilities.

As president, I will work to increase employment opportunities for all individuals with disabilities, and recently outlined some of the ways in which I hope to do so in a major speech on building an inclusive economy. I will also push for passage of the bipartisan Transition to Independence Act.

People with disabilities have the same right to work at a job that pays them minimum wage or more, in a place where they will interact with non-disabled individuals, and with the same opportunities for promotion as workers without disabilities. Among my administration’s highest priorities will be to eliminate the sub-minimum wage, increase access to competitive integrated employment, and ensure that a fair day’s work earns a fair day’s pay for all Americans.

 

C. ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Opening doors for entrepreneurs and small business owners with disabilities is vital to addressing employment for people with disabilities. The next administration will need to create new opportunities for people with disabilities to start their own businesses and compete for government contracts.

How do you plan to ensure that people with disabilities can open and sustain small businesses?

How do you plan to include business-owners with disabilities in the competitions to obtain government contracts?

Answer:

We must make it easier to start and grow a small business in America, and ensure we level the playing field for America’s small businesses and entrepreneurs with disabilities. Through a career spent working with people with disabilities, I have seen firsthand the incredible diversity, talent, and expertise Americans with disabilities bring to our economy. We need to give small businesses—including small businesses owned by people with disabilities—access to the financing they need to build, grow, and hire.

As president, I will work to boost small-business lending by easing burdens for community banks and credit unions. My administration will expand the health care tax credit for small employers with up to 50 employees through the Affordable Care Act (ACA), and will simplify complex phase-out and eligibility rules so that it’s easier for many more small businesses to get the credit and cover their workers as well as themselves. I will give small businesses recourse to take on predatory behavior from big businesses and ensure the federal government has the resources to be more responsive to small businesses.

I will also work with the disability community to ensure that opportunities for government contracts are inclusive and available to business owners with disabilities. It is essential that we include a variety of diverse business owners in the work that the federal government does.

 

D. TRANSITION FOR YOUTH WITH DISABILITIES

Youth with disabilities often find themselves distanced from the opportunities to learn job skills through work in their formative years leading to unemployment and underemployment throughout their lives.

How do you plan to engage youth with disabilities in pre-employment opportunities that will lead to successful transitions from school to work and/or higher education?

How would you reform the public workforce system to ensure people with disabilities, especially youth with disabilities, are fully integrated into the economic development of regional economies?

Answer:

As president, I will work so that the federal government is doing all we can to support the children, youth, and adults living with disabilities–and their families. I will continue to bolster educational opportunities for all students, to ensure successful transitions from school to work or higher education.

My first job out of law school was with the Children’s Defense Fund. I went door-to-door in New Bedford, Massachusetts to gather testimonials about why children with disabilities were out of school. I will make high-quality education a priority for every child in America by building on the bi-partisan Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), and work so that cost is no longer a barrier to higher education.

People with disabilities bring incredible value to their communities, and I will fight for integrative regional economies to the benefit of all Americans. My administration will protect and expand funding for states and local communities to develop effective programs to help people with disabilities work, create partnerships with employers, and provide incentives for employers.

I will continue to work so that in every community, children with disabilities are being provided with the educational supports and opportunities they need to successfully transition from students to active participants in the regional economy.

 

E. ENSURING APPROPRIATE FLEXIBILITY IN PUBLIC PROGRAMS TO SUPPORT PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES IN THE WORKFORCE

Of the federal and state expenditures combined for working age people with disabilities, 41 percent is spent on income benefits (e.g., SSI and SSDI) and 55 percent on health care (Medicaid and Medicare). A paltry 1.2 percent of federal and state expenditures go to educating, training and employment programs for people with disabilities.

With 4.6 million people with disabilities on Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and 8.9 million people on Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI), how would your administration reform these federal income support programs so people with disabilities can receive income supports without being required to preclude working so they can secure employment or return to employment sooner?

Medicaid eligibility and programmatic requirements now create barriers for individuals with disabilities seeking to enter or return to the workplace because they cannot access needed supports such as personal care attendants, power wheelchairs, complex rehab technology, other rehabilitation devices and services, home and community based services, medical supplies and therapies.  Do you support initiatives that would allow workers with disabilities to continue to work past age 65, maintain eligibility from state to state, and carry their Medicaid benefits into private employment settings?  How would you work with the private sector to address the critical independent living supports that many private insurance programs do not cover for people with disabilities?

Answer:

As president, I will build on the constructive proposals that President Obama has put forward to provide individuals with disabilities the support they need — while enabling them to work to the best of their capabilities. His initiatives include demonstration grants that can spur new approaches to early intervention and improving the employment picture for people with disabilities whether they be services for job-seekers, funds for states developing effective programs to help people with disabilities work, or partnerships with and incentives for employers.

I will work with people with disabilities and their advocates to expand on these proposals. We must ensure that Americans with disabilities who want to work receive the support they need to do so. Such initiatives will be aligned with my broader plan to preserve and strengthen Social Security and Medicare for today and for future generations.  

Across the country, 3 million Americans have been left without coverage due to their state’s failure to expand Medicaid. I will work with governors to ensure these individuals are able to get the care they need. The Medicaid program has evolved and supports members of the disability community throughout their lives. I will protect Medicaid as I have vigorously done throughout my time in public service, and I will be interested in examining thoughtful approaches to providing quality, community-based services.

 

3. ADVANCING THE CIVIL AND CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHT OF AMERICANS WITH DISABILITIES TO BE INTEGRATED IN SOCIETY

The vast majority of Americans with disabilities and older Americans prefer home and community based services that allow them to live independently in their communities, however, states and insurance providers of Long Term Services and Supports (LTSS) still restrict access to community-based services which results in unwanted institutionalization, depriving institutionalized individuals of their fundamental freedoms and cutting short their lives.  This reliance on institutional placement is also far more expensive than services in the community.

If elected, will you support the Disability Integration Act (currently S.2427/HR.5689) – bipartisan civil rights legislation that establishes in statute the right of Americans with LTSS disabilities to receive services and supports in the community and be integrated in society – and sign this or similar civil rights legislation into law?

What other investments will you make in expanding long-term services and supports?

Answer:

I am proud to support efforts like the Disability Integration Act that will help shift more resources to providing home and community-based care for those who choose it. As an original sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) in 2008, I understand the importance of ensuring equal access for people with disabilities. I will continue to work with the Department of Justice (DOJ) to ensure the ADA is being upheld, and that states are complying with Olmstead’s mandate to provide community options for individuals with disabilities. I will work with the Department of Labor (DOL) to ensure that we are issuing policies that advance competitive integrated employment so that individuals have jobs that help them live full, quality lives in the community.

I will also launch the Autism Works Initiative to help connect Americans who are living with autism with employment opportunities. I look forward to continuing the tremendous work of the Administration for Community Living, formed over 4 years ago as part of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), that has made significant progress in policies that support individuals and their access to quality long term services and supports.

 

4. TRANSPORTATION

Access to affordable and reliable transportation allows people with disabilities important opportunities to go to school, work, take care of their health, live where they desire, and participate in all aspects of community life. Because our nation’s investments in transportation infrastructure have disproportionately favored cars and highways, those who cannot afford cars or do not operate cars often lack viable transportation options.

A. PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION

Access to public transportation is a key to independence and full community participation for people with disabilities.

What would you do to expand access to affordable and accessible transportation for people with disabilities, especially in rural areas?

Answer:

I have put forth a robust, five-year $275 billion infrastructure plan that will ensure that individuals across the country, including those with disabilities, have access to affordable, public transportation that will connect them with jobs and opportunities.  A lack of reliable and efficient public and other transportation options can create barriers for individuals attempting to build better lives. That is why my plan calls for prioritizing and increasing investments in public transit that will improve the quality of life for all our communities – rural and urban – as well as encouraging local governments to work directly with low-income and minority communities to ensure that federal investments are creating transit options that connect the unemployed to the jobs and services they need.

The ADA was a tremendous step forward in expanding transportation options for persons with disabilities, and the ADAA, moved the ADA one step forward by, among other things, making it easier for individuals with disabilities to benefit from the protections of this landmark law. As president, I will build on these rights.

 

B. TRANSPORTATION NETWORKING COMPANIES

Transportation networking companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft have the potential to increase transportation options for people with disabilities. Unfortunately, TNCs have discriminated against people with disabilities by refusing rides to individuals with service animals and individuals using wheelchairs.

What would your Administration do to ensure all people with disabilities have access to the services provided by TNC’s?

Answer:

I believe that Americans with disabilities should have access to the necessary services to the same extent as other Americans do. As our economy evolves, I will look carefully at this issue to ensure that we are protecting the rights of people with disabilities, and I will work to ensure that the appropriate laws are being enforced so that we are providing access to the fullest extent possible.

 

C. AUTONOMOUS VEHICLES

As autonomous or self-driving vehicles move towards becoming a reality, they promise new mobility options and increased independence for people with disabilities who have missed out on the benefits of a century of automotive history.

What will your Administration do to ensure people with disabilities are not left at the side of the road but realize the maximum benefits possible as self-driving technology continues to develop and advance and regulations get promulgated?

Answer:

The development of automobile technology is exciting and offers great opportunities for better access to transportation for people with disabilities. As president, I will encourage the Department of Transportation (DOT) to continue Secretary Foxx’s in-depth attention to these emerging technologies and the agency’s inclusion of people with disabilities. The next step from the current Administration is to release proposed rules from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) on self-driving vehicles. I intend to follow this rulemaking process while learning more about this research and exploring ways to provide safe and reliable transportation for individuals living with disabilities.  

 

D. AIR TRAVEL

Air travel can be complicated for everyone, but people with disabilities encounter many additional barriers to air travel. From the time we enter the airport, we are faced with obstacles that not only result in frequent delays and missed flights, but they also put our dignity and safety at risk. People with disabilities frequently experience inaccessible facilities and equipment in airports, overly intrusive and discriminatory TSA security screenings, breakage of mobility and medical equipment, unsafe and harmful transport and transfers by airport staff, inaccessible aircraft facilities and amenities, and additional fees. Air travel can be extremely difficult for people with disabilities, including those who must travel for work, sometimes rendering it nearly impossible.

As President, what would you do to address this issue?

Answer:

As Secretary of State, I worked to build strong support for the United States to join the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. The CRPD is important for international air travel as it seeks to secure disability rights abroad, similar to what we have in our own disability rights laws. I will continue to support ratification of the treaty in the Senate.

And as president, I will commit to working with the DOT to ensure equal access to air travel for people with disabilities. My friend, former Senator Tom Harkin, worked on legislation to correct many access issues within air travel.  I will work with policymakers to provide access to air travel for Americans living with disabilities.

 

5. TECHNOLOGY

Accessible mainstream communication and information technologies, as well as assistive and adaptive technologies, often allow people with disabilities to secure and maintain employment, participate in educational activities, and experience entertainment like everyone else.

A. SECTION 508 OF THE REHABILITATION ACT

The U.S. Congress enacted section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act in 1973, a statute that requires the federal government to purchase information technology that is accessible to and usable by employees with disabilities in the federal government and by customers with disabilities accessing federal government services online.  Despite this longstanding requirement, many federal websites and online government services remain inaccessible to users who are blind, people with low vision, people with intellectual disabilities and other disabilities.

Would you make it a priority to ensure federal agencies make their websites and all other information technology accessible?  How will you implement this?

Answer:

I will continue to support the work of the Government Services Administration (GSA) in providing technical assistance and training to ensure that federal websites comply with Section 508. Access to public services is critical, and I am committed to working with the GSA and others to achieve it.

 

B. THE INTERNET OF THINGS

The Internet of Things, including smart homes and other connected devices, has the potential to increase the independence and community integration of people with disabilities.  Connected devices are being developed and released for sale at breakneck speed with new devices coming to market every day often without any accessibility or usability requirements.  Universal design and accessibility features must be included in these devices in order for the Internet of Things to realize the potential it has to improve the quality of life of people with disabilities. Under Title II and III of the Americans with Disabilities Act, people with disabilities have access to modifications, accommodations, and auxiliary aides or services to participate in the activities and services of both local and state government and places of public accommodations, a protection that currently does not exist on the Internet of Things.

What will you do to ensure that people with disabilities have the same access to the Internet of Things as provided to nondisabled individuals?

Answer:

My administration will work to ensure that individuals with disabilities have access to essential internet resources, in part by ensuring that every household has access to high-speed broadband by 2020. Accessible technology is key to community integration and that includes the internet.

Technology provides tremendous opportunity for Americans with disabilities in all areas, and as president, I intend to ensure all agencies of our government are working together for full inclusion. As one of the most technologically advanced nations in the world, we must mobilize American innovation to benefit each and every individual.

 

6. EDUCATION

Due to the enactment and implementation of a key civil rights law, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA, or the “special education” law), high school graduation rates for people with disabilities have increased 45 percent since 1995, with an associated decrease in dropout rates for students with disabilities. Similarly, enrollment in college has doubled for students with disabilities. Nevertheless, local school districts struggle to serve students with disabilities and students with disabilities seeking a higher education continue to face enormous barriers to success.

A. IDEA FUNDING

When IDEA was passed in 1975, Congress pledged to fund 40% of the differential cost of serving students with disabilities. The closest the federal government has come to meeting that pledge is 19% in 2010. Higher levels of funding will ensure more students with disabilities receive the supports they need in K-12, are able to complete high school, and have the opportunity to go on to postsecondary education and postsecondary employment.

Do you support funding IDEA at higher levels?

Answer:

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) has helped ensure children with disabilities receive the services they need and the education they deserve. As a co-sponsor of the IDEA Reauthorization Act and an original co-sponsor of the IDEA Full-Funding Act, I know we need to keep working toward fulfilling the promise of this landmark law.  Throughout my time in the Senate, I voted to increase funding for IDEA on many occasions.  With my personal roots in the issue of education for people with disabilities, the funding of IDEA is very important to me, and I will work diligently as president to ensure we expand resources for students with disabilities.

 

B. CURRICULUM AND TRANSITION

In some localities, students with disabilities are not taught the challenging curriculum available to students without disabilities.

How would you ensure that students with disabilities have the same access to ambitious educational opportunities that other students have?

How would you increase the number of high school graduates with disabilities and what would you do to ensure more college graduates with disabilities secure employment and are hired by the private sector?

Answer:

As president, I will bolster educational opportunities for all students, while ensuring students with disabilities have the same access as those without disabilities. I have discussed several elements of the levers to do that, from IDEA, to ESSA, to expanding access to mental health services for children and adolescents, to disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, to expanding opportunities for competitive integrated employment. We need to use every tool in our toolbox.

In addition to supporting those in school, it is also important that we give students transitioning out of school-based services the support they need to build healthy lives for themselves, and gain access to employment opportunities. This will be a priority of mine as president. I’ve already set out some detail on how I will go about doing this for students who are living with autism, and I think the transition should be a focus of ours to support all students with disabilities.

 

C. ELIMINATING BULLYING AND THE USE OF RESTRAINTS AND SECLUSION

Bullying of students with disabilities is a long-standing problem. So is the use of restraints and seclusion, especially for students with disabilities.

Do you support amending the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) to protect young students with disabilities from bullying and the use of restraints and seclusion, and to require state educational agencies and local school districts systems to report incidents of bullying and the use of restraints and seclusion, and to provide interventions to reduce bullying and the use of restrains and seclusion?

Answer:

No one should ever be made to feel badly for being different.  Unfortunately, children with disabilities are more likely than other children to be bullied, including two-thirds of children with autism. We’ve even seen some bullying of people with disabilities from presidential candidates. I will press Congress to enact the Keeping All Students Safe Act. I will also ensure the Department of Education (ED) enforces the strong guidance issued to states and school districts so that students with disabilities must be protected from bullying and allowed to remain in their classrooms.

 

D. EDUCATIONAL INCLUSION OF PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Students with disabilities frequently lack access to the general education classroom.

What steps will you take to expand access to the general education classroom and broader inclusion for students with disabilities?

Answer:

As president, I will ensure that every child with a disability has access to a high-quality education and can receive this education in the least restrictive environment possible. Under existing law, school districts must provide students with disabilities a free, appropriate public education. Yet in too many districts, that legal mandate is not always enforced. I will fight so that students with disabilities are safe, empowered, and learning at school. In addition to promoting policies to protect students with disabilities from bullying, I will ensure that children with disabilities have access to assistive devices or technology. These tools can help them overcome communication barriers, allowing them to learn in a classroom of their peers with and without disabilities.

 

7.  VOTING

Americans with disabilities face many obstacles and barriers to voting, including inaccessible polling places and voting equipment, difficulty getting to the polling place, and poorly informed election officials and poll workers about access issues.

What will you do to ensure people with disabilities have equal access to the fundamental right to vote?

Do you support providing funding to states so they can purchase new accessible voting systems to replace the first generation accessible voting systems that have outlived their useful life?

Answer:

The right to vote is the most fundamental and important privilege of our democracy – one I have fought to uphold throughout my career. I understood the urgency of protecting this right when I introduced the Count Every Vote Act, which, along with other protections designed to safeguard minority voting rights, ensured access to voter verification for all citizens.  This includes language-minority voters, voters who cannot read, and voters with disabilities.

I will work with the DOJ to make sure the goals of voting rights within legislation like the ADA, the Voting Accessibility for the Elderly and Handicapped Act, the National Voter Registration Act of (NVRA), and the Help America Vote Act are all being upheld and enforced. We need to ensure we are making it easier to vote and restore key provisions of the Voting Rights Act (VRA). And I will do more to expand access to voting across the country, including early voting and universal, automatic voter registration.

 

8.  AFFORDABLE, INTEGRATED and ACCESSIBLE HOUSING

The lack of affordable, accessible housing has taken an egregious toll on the lives of people with disabilities who continue to be warehoused in nursing homes and other institutional settings.

As President, what will you do to address the need for affordable, integrated accessible housing for people with disabilities?

Answer:

Stable living conditions ensure stable lives, but persons with disabilities often struggle to secure housing. As a result, many become unnecessarily vulnerable to unemployment, homelessness, and incarceration. The landmark 1999 ruling in Olmstead v. L.C. codified the right under the ADA for persons with disabilities to live in the community rather than institutions, and to gain access to reasonable accommodations to support their independence.

As president, I will increase housing opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities by funding projects that help individuals with disabilities live independently in their communities and investing in community-based housing programs that have proven to be effective. One such program is the newly-reformed Section 811 program authorized by the Frank Melville Supportive Housing Investment Act of 2010.

In recent years, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) released Olmstead guidance to the public. I support expanding on this guidance and ensuring that housing providers are fully aware of the housing crisis facing people with disabilities. I will encourage HUD to continue fostering opportunities and relationships with housing providers, to encouraging viable solutions to support individuals with disabilities.

 

9. HEALTH CARE

People with disabilities rely on both public (Medicaid) and private insurance options to obtain coverage to meet their health care needs. Access to affordable comprehensive health care coverage is essential for people with disabilities to live independently and maximize the quality of their lives. Unfortunately, many people with disabilities continue to lack access to the services and supports they need. In addition, despite existing legal protections, people with disabilities are subject to discrimination in both the financing and provision of health care services.

What will you do to address discrimination in the financing and provision of health care services to people with disabilities? Will you make enforcement of existing health care nondiscrimination protections for people with disabilities a priority?

How will you work to expand access to affordable, comprehensive health care coverage for people with disabilities?

How will you work to improve the Medicaid program, including ensuring access to home and community based services and the elimination of the bias toward institutional services in the Medicaid program?

Answer:

Thanks to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), 20 million more Americans have health insurance, which among numerous other benefits, ensures that people with pre-existing conditions can no longer be denied coverage. As president, I will protect and expand upon this legislation to finish our fight to provide universal coverage. 

To ensure care is more accessible, I will cap the prescription drug costs that people have to pay out of pocket, and limit excessive out-of-pocket health costs.  I will protect consumers from unjustified prescription drug price increases from companies that market long-standing, life-saving treatments and face little or no competition. I will also put forth new enforcement tools that make drug alternatives available and increase competition, broaden emergency access to high-quality treatments from developed countries with strong safety standards, and hold drug companies accountable.

I will fight for health insurance for the lowest-income Americans in every state by working with governors in the remaining 19 states to expand Medicaid—and make enrollment through Medicaid and the ACA easier. Under Medicaid, states are required to cover all medically necessary treatments for disabilities, including developmental disabilities, yet not all states are fully compliant.

I will expand access to rural Americans, who often have difficulty finding quality, affordable health care. I will double funding for community health centers, explore ways to expand access to telemedicine, and support our healthcare workforce. I am also committed to doubling the funding for primary-care services at community health centers over the next ten years.

In addition to strengthening health care coverage for people with disabilities across the board, I have proposed specific initiatives that will make a difference in health care and health coverage for people with disabilities, such as my autism initiative and mental health agenda. I am committed to improve how our healthcare system functions for people with disabilities and ensure that they are eligible for and can access the care that they need.

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