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Position Papers
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Position on Medicaid Expansion in South Dakota

(Adopted by Board of Directors on 12-11-13)

 

 The South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities believes all South Dakotans need access to affordable health care and supports the expansion of Medicaid in South Dakota under Obamacare.

 

The current Medicaid threshold in South Dakota disqualifies many of the poorest working adults from receiving coverage.

 

In South Dakota, 15 percent of the adult population lives at or below 100 percent of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL), which works out to be about $11,500 per year for an individual.

 

Studies consistently show that people with disabilities and their families are much more likely to live in poverty than the general population.

 

Many individuals with significant mental and physical limitations do not meet eligibility requirements for Medicaid or Medicare because their disabilities are determined to be not so disabling as to prevent them from gainful employment.

 

Through no fault of their own, many individuals with disabilities are employed in low paying and in part-time positions.

 

Under Medicaid expansion, any adult making up to 138 percent FPL would be able to enroll in the public health insurance program, cutting South Dakota’s uninsurance rate by more than half.

 

Without expansion, some of South Dakota’s poorest citizens, with and without disabilities, will:

·       have to continue relying on emergency rooms for their primary access to medical services;

·       not be able to seek out preventative care to improve their personal health;

·       be less prepared for and capable of maintaining employment; and

·       continue to drive up overall health care spending.

 

Without expansion, much of the health care cost for these individuals is passed along to privately-insured individuals by charging them higher prices.

 

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The South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities is a coalition of over 40 consumer, provider and advocacy organizations and over 150 individuals with and without disabilities working together to advocate for public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of people with disabilities of all ages in South Dakota.

 

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Position on Subminimum Wage for Workers with Disabilities

(Adopted by Board of Directors on 12-11-13)

 

The South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities supports the Fair Wages for Workers with Disabilities Act of 2013, HR 831, and we advocate for the exclusion of subminimum wage language in the reauthorization of the Workforce Investment Act.

 

Section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938 (FLSA) enables employers to obtain Special Wage Certificates allowing them to pay over 400,000 workers with disabilities wages that are less than the federal minimum wage.

 

No group, other than people with disabilities, are deprived the minimum wage protections afforded by the Fair Labor Standards Act.

 

New methods of supporting persons with disabilities in employment exist today that did not exist when these “special wage certificates” were first created i.e., plan for sustaining employment; supported employment services.

 

Substantial research, and the experience of many employers who employ people with disabilities, demonstrates that businesses can be competitive while paying minimum wages to their employees with disabilities.

 

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The South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities is a coalition of over 40 consumer, provider and advocacy organizations and over 150 individuals with and without disabilities working together to advocate for public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of people with disabilities of all ages in South Dakota.

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Position on United Nations (UN) Convention on the

Rights of Persons with Disabilities

(Adopted by Board of Directors on 12-11-13)

 

The South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities supports ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (Convention) by the U.S. Senate.

 

We believe the Convention details the rights of persons with disabilities and sets out a path that will lead to the development and implementation of policies, laws and administrative measures that seek to secure the rights and responsibilities of persons with disabilities throughout the world, while abolishing laws, regulations, customs and practices that constitute discrimination against persons with disabilities.

 

We also believe that the United States has long been at the forefront of protecting the rights of all individuals, including the rights of persons with disabilities, and as a world leader, the United States has an obligation to lead by example since our actions set standards for other nations to emulate.

 

It is estimated that there are over 600 million individuals with disabilities in our world today, and many still face daily discrimination, injustice and persecution. We believe countries must work to:

 

·       Guarantee that persons with disabilities enjoy life on an equal basis with those without disabilities;

·       Recognize that all persons are equal before the law;

·       Protect the physical and mental integrity of persons with disabilities as well as those without disabilities;

·       Identify and eliminate obstacles and barriers to access activities of daily life encountered by persons with disabilities;

·       Ensure that persons with disabilities are able to live independently and have choice to where and with whom they live, with access to in-home, community based supports and services;

·       Recognize the rights of persons with disabilities to have an adequate standard of living and appropriate social protection, ensuring that persons with disabilities have equal rights to work and gain a living.

 

We further believe that the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities does no more to impinge on our national sovereignty than numerous other conventions that have already been adopted by the United States.

 

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The South Dakota Coalition of Citizens with Disabilities is a coalition of over 40 consumer, provider and advocacy organizations and over 150 individuals with and without disabilities working together to advocate for public policy that ensures the self-determination, independence, empowerment, integration and inclusion of people with disabilities of all ages in South Dakota.


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