Sarah Schwegel, a long-time dedicated volunteer and member of Starkloff Disability Institute Young Friends recently gave a  speech at a rally regarding the cuts to Missouri Medicaid and state government spending. Watch the video here 

 Transcript: 

 Good morning! We need to send a message to the administration:  

A message that says stop wasting time and money on a special session that will not improve the lives of missourians and start focusing on solving real problems that people are facing today. We need to make sure people with disabilities have the opportunity to live independently and be productive members of their community.  

 I want you to imagine your daily routine.  

Getting up out of bed, Getting dressed, Brushing your teeth, Going to the bathroom, Making food.  

Really think about EVERYTHING that you do.  

Driving to work. Coming home at the end of the day and changing into more comfortable clothes. 

Everything.  

Got it? Good. 

Now I want you to imagine that same daily routine, but this time not being able to move until someone helps you get in your wheelchair or walker. Not being able to lift your arms-yes BOTH of your arms- above your head. Not being able to lift anything heavier than a can of soda. Not being able to use the bathroom by yourself.  

Different, right? 

Now think about how long everything takes you and how much help you would need in a day. 

Now imagine that you have 6 hours of attendant help to do all of the things you need to do in  a day. You’re comfortable. You’re able to get dressed, get ready, make lunch, have breakfast, get to work, have help at lunch time. Get home from work and have time to change into comfy clothes, clean, run errands, and even cook dinner.  

Life is pretty great, right? 

Now I want you to imaging that your attendant hours just got slashed. You now only have 3.75 hours to get all of the things done. Is it enough? If not who helps you? Family? Friends? Or do you have to go to to a nursing home–at a HIGHER COST to the state–because you don’t have the means to have your family to drop everything; and your friends can’t work for free.  

This is what happened to 8,000 missourians on June 30th when the Governor vetoed HCB3.  

And now he’s acting like he didn’t just interrupt the livelihood of 8,000 of his constituents. Hes acting like it is fine to ignore the fact that he just made 8,000 people ½ as productive or warehoused in a nursing home. Hes acting like it is fine to proceed with his hazardous agenda, and have costly special sessions that attack important things like reproductive rights. When he should at the very least call a special session to figure out how to fund Medicaid for the 8,000 that just lost a good portion of their services.

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