Every American deserves a fair shot, including the estimated 56 million who live with a disability, nearly 50% of whom are seriously disabled. Yet, often these Americans can be ignored or left behind during policy discussions and continue to face discrimination in everyday life — especially in employment, housing, and transportation. As President, Steve will prioritize Americans with disabilities and lead the fight to address the challenges and opportunities in their daily lives.
Advocate for Americans with Disabilities in National Policy
- Create a National Office of Disability Coordination within the Executive Branch to prioritize issues facing Americans with disabilities across the federal government. Steve will do this through an executive order.
- Ensure that the federal government represents and understands the needs of Americans living with disabilities by hiring talent that is differently abled.
- End wage discrimination and phase-out section 14(c) of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), which allows companies and providers to pay people with disabilities lower-than-minimum wage. Steve will work with Congress to remove this section from the FLSA.
- Ensure affordable, quality healthcare for all Americans, including those with disabilities.
- Provide a public option to improve access and ensure competition in the marketplace and for those who live in states without Medicaid expansion.
- Increase subsidies to make health insurance more affordable on the ACA exchange for families whose income is below 400% of the federal poverty level.
- Ensure more families can access care by automatically enrolling those who are Medicaid eligible or eligible for a 100% cost subsidy on the ACA exchange.
- Defend Obamacare and its protection for those with a pre-existing condition.
Enforcement and Non-Discrimination
- Ensure people with different abilities are treated fairly by enforcing the Rehabilitation Act with every federal contractor and agency. Steve will have each federal agency publicly report how they are adhering to section 501. He will also require federal contractors to provide additional evidence that they are following section 501.
- Direct the Labor Department to strongly enforce existing healthcare non-discrimination protections for people with disabilities to ensure that all Americans have access to health insurance and receive the healthcare services they need. Not only is it the right thing to do, it is illegal to discriminate against people with disabilities.
- Hold businesses accountable which pay Americans with different abilities less than other employees. Steve will direct the DoL to focus on this.
- Require states to have non-discrimination requirements in place to receive federal funds. Steve will work with Congress to ensure this requirement is put in place.
Equal Access to Public Services
- Support the Disability Integration Act (DIA) which prevents government entities or service providers from denying community-based services to individuals with disabilities that require long-term support. Steve will work with Congress to pass this legislation.
- Ensure that individuals with disabilities receive the help they need after natural disasters.
- Steve will establish a national commission on disability disaster readiness, ensuring that state and local emergency managers account for the needs of the disabled community when planning for disaster preparedness and response.
- Issue grants to local and state agencies to develop response plans that meet the needs of individuals with disabilities.
- Steve will lead the fight to enact the Real Emergency Access for Aging and Disability Inclusion for Disasters Act (REAADI) and the Disaster Relief Medicaid Act (DRMA) to ensure that the voices of Americans with different abilities are considered and represented throughout the preparation, response, and recovery phases of a disaster.
- Work with Congress to expand Community Services Block Grants and direct HHS to prioritize community-based health initiatives designed to get people help within their community, including people living with disability.
- Provide additional supported employment services for people with disabilities. Steve will advocate for companies to create jobs for supported employees and have federal agencies consider supported employment as part of their evaluation criteria for federal contracts.
- Ensure that our national parks and public lands are accessible to all Americans, including those with different abilities. Steve will direct the National Park Service, Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management (BLM), and other federal land management agencies to prioritize this and partner with experts and advocacy organizations on this issue.