Disability rights activists criticize nursing homes during Pelosi speech

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Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)
Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi faced harsh criticism from disability rights activists during a speech to a group of progressives. Her address on policy and healthcare reforms was met with constant chants and protests on Tuesday, according to news reports. The protesters were from a group that previously has demonstrated boldly at nursing home provider association meetings.

Members of the progressive disability rights organization ADAPT heckled Pelosi, chanting “our homes, not nursing homes” during the Democratic leader's address to the American Future Now conference. Pelosi, only briefly daunted by the persistence of the crowd, carried on, at times shouting her 28-minute speech into the microphone.

Members of ADAPT were voicing their extreme disappointment over the lack of movement on the Community Choice Act, which has been stalled in both chambers of Congress. Introduced in 2009, the bill would shift some healthcare funding away from nursing homes into home- and community-based services.