U.S. Representatives Bobby Rush & Raja Krishnamoorthi
Misericordia is involved in an effort to change federal law and regulations so that they recognize the individual’s right to choose where to live and spend his or her days.
We also want federal law and regulations to expand residential and vocational options for individuals with developmental disabilities, rather than restrict them. This effort requires that we have legislators in Washington who will champion our cause both in Congress and with the federal agency, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). Recently, Sister Rosemary talked to Rep. Bobby Rush about our concerns and he immediately agreed to lead our efforts in Congress to amend the Medicaid statute to require that individual choice be honored. Rep. Rush’s involvement was important since he sits on the Energy & Commerce Committee. Rep. Rush persisted in his efforts despite vocal opposition from the usual advocates for “community” settings. In addition, Rep. Raja Kishnamoorthi wrote CMS asking the agency to amend the Settings Rule to honor individual choice and he agreed to lead the effort to get other members of the Illinois congressional delegation to sign a similar letter to CMS. We are extremely grateful to Rep. Rush and Rep. Krishnamoorthi for their support and advocacy for your choice!
It is important that these two courageous legislators know that Misericordia’s families appreciate their efforts on our behalf and on behalf of all individuals with developmental disabilities across Illinois and the country. Therefore, we are asking each of you to please email Rep. Rush and Rep. Krishnamoorthi and express your gratitude for their continuing efforts in support of the right of individuals with developmental disabilities to choose where to live and spend their days. Please mention that your family member lives at Misericordia. If you live in their districts, it is important that you mention that as well. There will be other elected officials in the coming months and weeks who will be supporting us on these matters and we will be asking you to acknowledge their support as well. They are all hearing from very vocal disability advocates against campus settings, and we need our elected officials to hear your voice. If they only hear one voice against campus settings, they will not feel that the matter is important enough to get actively involved.
Please take a few minutes out of your day to let them know you appreciate their efforts.