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The Americans with Disabilities Act Is Under Threat


President Bush signs the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 1990 / Photo courtesy of the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum

  • There’s no entity in charge of ensuring that businesses comply with the ADA. So the onus is almost always on people with disabilities to challenge violations.
  • Related: Henry Giroux | A New American Revolution: Can We Break Out of Our Nation’s Culture of Cruelty?


Kristin Miller, Moyers & Company / Portside If you like reading this article, consider joining the crew of all reader-supported Evergreene Digest by contributing the equivalent of a cafe latte a month--using the donation button above—so we can bring you more just like it. September 22, 2017 | The optics were bad enough when disabled Americans were being dragged out of capital buildings as they protested potential loss of benefits in the first two iterations of Republican health care bills. For the protestors it was all about Medicaid. The Senate bill did away with Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion which would drop millions of low-income Americans from the rolls. And the bill completely changed the way Medicaid is financed — getting rid of open-ended funding and moving toward a “per-capita” system. The new Graham-Cassidy bill under consideration needs to be voted on within the next week to get an easy pass with just 51 votes. Like its predecessors, it also halts Medicaid expansion and turns Medicaid dollars over to the states to determine spending.

But disability advocates have even more reason to be distressed by the policies of the Republican administration. Long a dream of the Chamber of Commerce, the real estate industry and those who see “frivolous lawsuits” around every corner, the Americans with Disabilities Act is in danger of having its bite removed. Just after celebrating the 27th birthday of the act, signed into law by President George H.W. Bush, up pops (H.R. 620) The ADA Education and Reform Act of 2017.

Kristin Miller is a senior producer for She has worked on Now with Bill Moyers, Bill Moyers on Faith & Reason, Moyers on America and Bill Moyers Journal. She’s also been a producer for TED, Sesame Street and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.

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Henry Giroux | A New American Revolution: Can We Break Out of Our Nation’s Culture of Cruelty? Henry Giroux, Rise Up Times / Salon / Moyers & Company  Video: The Denver (CO) Post 

  • Fighting back against the right’s politics of exclusion can be a path toward rebuilding American democracy.
  • It is about a culture of cruelty that is buttressed by a moral coma.
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