My Statement on the 21st Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Landmark Disability Rights Decision in Olmstead v. L.C.
Twenty-one years ago today, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in Olmstead v. L.C. that people with disabilities could no longer be unduly isolated or segregated in institutions, and that doing so is a form of unlawful discrimination. In the years since, millions of Americans with disabilities have been better able to build full, independent lives in their communities — working meaningful jobs, building neighborhood and civic ties, and moving closer to realizing the promise of America that everyone so deserves.
But, we have so much more work to do. Waiting lists for home and community-based services are often long, shutting out many who’d like to receive them. And, Donald Trump is still working to gut the Medicaid program that supports these and so many other services that are essential to people with disabilities — not to mention to repeal Obamacare and strip millions of vital health coverage in the middle of a pandemic.
Today, it’s past time to begin the reforms needed to turn Olmstead’s promise into a lasting reality. I’m committed to ensuring that all 61 million Americans with disabilities have every opportunity to fully participate in our society.