If you were watching the 2016 Presidential debate, you saw a lot of what you were expecting. Talks about the infamous Trump Tapes with Billy Bush, accusations over Hillary Clinton's e-mails and talk of taxes. However, if you were a disabled voter, you saw a lot of Donald Trump's #Disability policy. Granted it was veiled and you have to look for it but it does say a lot. None of it is good.
Donald Trump talks healthcare
One of the most understated aspects of the Affordable Care Act even by the Clinton campaign itself is that disabled people are having an easier time getting healthcare than ever before. This is because the ACA banned preexisting conditions. What a lot of people fail to realize is that the majority of disabilities, such as epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or autism, fell under that dreaded banner. Should Trump scrap the ACA as he and many Republicans want to do, preexisting conditions would return and disabled people be in a tight spot.
This spot would be even tighter for people on Medicaid. Many disabled people also use this program. Trump, like many people in his party, want to carve out Medicaid into block grants to the states to give to the states. According to Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, this would lead to a cut of more than $900 billion. This would lead to a lot of people not getting wheelchairs and needed treatments or equipment.
Trump's plans for judiciary would gut disability rights
In all the talk about tapes and emails during the 2016 Presidential Debate, people may overlook the question of who the next Supreme Court Justices will be. Trump has promised the next Justice will be like Antonin Scalia. If you have a disability, this would be bad for you. One of the most famous disability rights decisions is Olmstead v. L.C. The opinion in this decision was that people with disabilities had a right to live in their community rather than institutions, as long as they weren't a danger. Scalia dissented and said that holding the disabled prisoner on the basis of their disability alone did not qualify as discrimination.
One of Hillary Clinton's priorities will be passing the Disability Integration Act. This act would bar states from using Medicaid dollars to funnel disabled people into nursing homes rather than their helping them live in their communities. No doubt certain states would fight this tooth and nail. If Trump wins, those who believe in disability rights lose. Especially if they're in a state controlled by the far right.
What it all comes down to if you have a disability
What it really comes down to is whether or not you want a court system that believes you have a right to exist in your community. Scalia, judging by the most pivotal disability decision in his career, obviously did not. Trump will most likely pack the judiciary with far-right radicals who believe the same. It comes down to whether or not you believe the disabled should have access to healthcare. If we go back to the way things were, we won't.
I tried to be balanced in my comparison articles but I think it's time to just say it for any undecided disabled voters: The disabled can't afford more Scalia clones. We can't afford preexisting conditions. We can't afford Donald Trump.Vote like your life depends on it. Depending on your disability, it very well might. #Election 2016 #2016 Presidential Debates