ROCHESTER, NY (WXXI) – Senator Kirsten Gillibrand has co-written a letter to Congress calling for more protections for people with disabilities in the next coronavirus relief package.
The letter, signed by 20 senators, including Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, says that the public health emergency from COVID-19 has exposed a “pre-existing scarcity” of medical treatment, and available resources for those with disabilities.
The senators say people with disabilities make up about 25 percent of adults in the U.S., and are half of all Americans living in long-term poverty.
Gillibrand and others say the next stimulus package should prioritize their needs.
The senators propose at least $50 billion in additional funding for Medicaid and Medicaid’s Home- and Community-Based Services, along with expanding paid leave protections for caregivers.
Gillibrand and others say that so far, Congress has failed to provide essential support for people with disabilities in recent relief packages.
This story is reported from WXXI’s Inclusion Desk.