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S.1 Tax Cuts & Jobs Act (TCJA)

Dear Patterson Network Project Community

Late breaking news: The vote on the Senate tax bill was postponed because there were not enough votes to approve the bill. The sticking point is that fiscal conservatives want to see a workable plan to deal with the projected deficit if the cuts fail to result in increased tax revenue. This is a good time to contact our Congessional representatives, even if you’ve already done so.

I wish to thank Ligia Andrade for her contribution to this article.

A few days ago the GOP tax bill was pushed forward through the Senate Budget Committee moving on to the Senate floor preparing it for vote by Friday morning December 1, 2017. The passing of this bill will cause significant changes and devastation to health and social services especially for individuals with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities. It is important to educate yourselves on the significant impacts this bill will have not only now, but for years to come.

It is not too late to understand the effects and contact your representatives. Here are the areas of concern…

  • Despite the varying opinions on the Affordable Care Act there are an estimated 13 million people who depend on this for health coverage are expected to lose access to health insurance completely.
  • Whether the individual mandate is expensive or not for different individuals, healthcare premiums are projected to increase 10% each year over the next 10 years as a result of the tax cut bill.
  • Eliminating the ability to deduct health care costs from taxable income will hurt the elderly, disabled, and chronically ill who rely on these deductions to afford to stay in their homes instead of being institutionalized. When coupled with cuts that are projected to be made to Medicare (see below) this will be especially devastating.
  • Charitable contributions are significant for nonprofit agencies that provide services to the disabled community along with the general population, alleviating their dependence on government funding allowing for funds to be used for things that are not restricted by the donors. Reduction in charitable contributions to nonprofit agencies is expected to lead to a reduction in funds available to the disabled and critically ill population.
  • Many individuals with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities depend on certain medications that treat our very specific disorders. Reducing the tax credit to businesses that develop these types of drugs, which are expensive to produce is forecast to result in a 33% reduction in the availability of these medications.
  • Additional cuts to “non-entitlement” programs such as Vocational Rehab, public housing, public transportation, education, employment, and other programs that are specifically for individuals with disabilities, or used by individuals with disabilities will be made.
  • 4%-$25 billion could be cut from Medicare, affecting millions of individuals living with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities, devastating their lives in many different ways. For example, the cost of something simple such as catheters, DME, in-home care services etc. are all funded by Medicare and will be significantly affected.
  • $1.5 trillion is projected to be added to the national debt as a result. It is expected that the shortfall will be financed by cuts in Medicare and other health related programs.

Please use the link below to find and contact your local congressional representatives to find and contact your local congressional representatives.

https://contactingcongress.org/

For more extensive information on how this will affect individuals with spinal cord injuries and other disabilities here are some links to other disability related websites and their take on the impacts.

United Spinal

https://unitedspinal.org/tax-cuts/

Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund

https://dredf.org/

Disability Scoop

https://www.disabilityscoop.com/2017/11/28/tax-threaten-disability-services/24464/

American Civil Liberties Union

https://www.aclu.org/

California Foundation of Independent Living Centers

https://www.cfilc.org/

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DSLC reschedules its Tech Expo & More

Disability Services & Legal Center, has a new date for their Tech Expo & More – Friday, May 11th 2018 at 10am – 3pm.  The Tech Expo & More will be held at the Grace Pavilion at the Sonoma County Fairgrounds.

DSLC postponed their 2017 Tech Expo because of the North Bay fires.  At that time, the space scheduled to host the Tech Expo was being used as a temporary shelter for people displaced by the fires.  Since then, the people at DSLC have been working to assist disable people who were displaced by the fires.

About DSLC

“Disability Services & Legal Center (DSLC) is a 501(C)(3) non-profit organization. DSLC has been the primary resource for adults, children, veterans and seniors with disabilities and their families in Sonoma County since 1976.

DSLC is one of California’s 28 Centers for Independent Living (CIL/ILC) that promotes the Independent Living philosophy through education, community partnerships and advocacy.

Headquartered in Santa Rosa (with branch offices in Napa and Ukiah), the organization serves people with disabilities in Sonoma, Napa, Lake and Mendocino Counties. DSLC serves over 2,000 people annually, providing information, advice and assistance on a wide range of disability-related matters.”

Read more about DSLC at http://mydslc.org/

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SCVMC Peer Support Program, Thanksgiving Dinner

Peer Support Program, Thanksgiving Dinner
Please join us and celebrate Thanksgiving with our TBI/ Stroke Peer Support Team, SCI Peer support Team, SCVMC staff and SCVMC past Rehab patients. We hope to see you there.
Thursday, November 16th 2017
SCVMC Peer Support Program Thanksgiving Dinner
At Santa Clara Valley Medical Center’s Cafeteria
(located in the 2nd floor of the Rehab Building)
751 S. Bascom Ave. San Jose, CA 95128
6:00pm-8:30pm
Event is free, but you must RSVP by no
later than Monday, November 13th.
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BORP night at Oracle Arena, November 24th

Friday, November 24 is BORP (Bay Area Outreach & Recreation Program) Night at Oracle Arena where the Warriors will take on the Chicago Bulls. Like last year, a portion of the ticket sales will benefit our youth sports program and the BORP Jr.  Road Warriors will get to play on the court before the game!

Accessible seating is available, but it tends to go quickly. Click here to purchase tickets (use promo code BORP). Click here for info about purchasing accessible seats.

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Invention Ideas Needed for Stanford Course

David Jaffe, who teaches Perspectives in Assistive Technology at Stanford University, is soliciting student project ideas from the community for the course starting this January. The course teaches students about the needs of the disabled community, and about how to take an identified need and solve it with a new invention. Each year, the course starts off with a number of project suggestions, presented by other students, health care professionals, members of the disabled community, as well as friends and family members.

If you have an idea for something new that can be “made” that would help solve an unmet need faced by the disabled or elderly, here’s your chance to see your idea become a reality. If your idea is selected, you will get a chance to work with a team of Stanford students to guide them and work with them as they develop a prototype device that addresses the problem. Click this link to read the submission requirements.

To get your idea considered, please contact Dave via email.

Click here read the latest newsletter for the course.

Perspectives in Assistive Technology is a Winter Quarter Stanford course – now anticipating its twelfth year – that explores the design, development, and use of assistive technology that benefits people with disabilities and older adults. It consists of semi-weekly classroom discussions; lectures by notable professionals, clinicians, and assistive technology users; tours of local medical, clinical, and engineering facilities; student project presentations and demonstrations; an assistive technology faire; and a film screening. Organization of the coming year’s course is underway, with the first class session in January.

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