Capitol Insider

for the week of June 9, 2014

Action Alert

 Ask Congress to Support Bill to Prevent Dangerous Restraint and Seclusion 

Major Events Ahead

Autism – House Committee to Take Up the Combating Autism Reauthorization
Act Today

The Energy and Commerce Committee will begin consideration of the Combating
Autism Reauthorization Act Today.  The Committee will consider an amendment in the
nature
of a substitute to HR 4631 introduced by Representatives Chris Smith (R-NJ)
and Michael Doyle (D-PA).   This latest version included a few changes, including a
new autism po sition at the Department of Health and Human Services, increasing the
number of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) on the Interagency Autism
Coordinating Committee (IACC)
, and studying the needs of children with autism as
they transition to adulthood, as well as the services available to them.  See our
support letter signed by 33 national disability organizations.  The House
reauthorization bill extends the research, surveillance, public awareness, and
professional training activities under the Combating Autism Act for an additional five
years.  Senators Menendez (D-NJ) and Enzi (R-WY) are expected to introduce a
Senate bill to reauthorize the law as soon as this week.

Education/Civil Rights – Save the Date – June 12 is the National Call-In Day
to Prevent Restraint & Seclusion

The Arc urges all advocates to participate in the June 12 national call in day to
support the Keeping All Students Safe Act, the restraint and seclusion bills (S. 2036
and HR 1893) introduced by Senator Harkin (D-IA) and Representative Miller (D-CA),
respectively.  Restraint and seclusion have resulted in numerous serious injuries and
fatalities and are disproportionately used on students with disabilities.   The day is
being planned in collaboration with the national Consortium for Citizens with
Disabilities (CCD)
, the Alliance to Prevent Restraint, Aversive Interventions and
Seclusion (APRAIS)
, and other coalitions.  Congress must hear from parents, people
with disabilities, students, advocates, professionals, friends, families, and neighbors
regarding this important legislation!  See Action Alert link above.

Announcements

Medicaid – New Resources Regarding the Early and Periodic Screening,
Diagnostic and Treatment Services (EPSDT) Benefit in Medicaid

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has new resources explaining
the Early and Periodic Screening, Diagnostic and Treatment services (EPSDT)
benefit in Medicaid.  The following guides are now available:

  1. EPSDT – A Guide for States: Coverage in the Medicaid Benefit for Children and
    Adolescents – This guide provides a comprehensive overview of the children’s
    benefit and summarizes CMS policy on screenings, diagnostic services, and
    treatment services. It also covers permissible limitations, medical necessity, and
    access topics.
  2. Keep Kids Smiling: Promoting Oral Health Through the Medicaid Benefit for
    Children & Adolescents – The second guide explains the dental and oral health
    dimensions of the EPSDT benefit, and explores a variety of specific ways states
    can, and have, improved their delivery of dental and oral health services to
    enrolled children.
  3. Paving the Road to Good Health: Strategies for Increasing Medicaid Adolescent
    Well-Care Visits – The third guide shares a collection of approaches states can
    use to better engage adolescents in staying healthy and getting regular check-
    ups.CMS has also developed, in partnership with the National Academy for State
    Health Policy (NASHP), an EPSDT Compendium that is located on the NASHP
    website
    .  This webpage features information about states’ EPSDT
    implementation efforts across dimensions such as care coordination, behavioral
    health, data collection and reporting, oral health, medical necessity, and
    improving access to care.

Health – Senate Confirms New Health and Human Services Secretary

The Senate confirmed Sylvia Mathews Burwell as the new Secretary of the U.S.
Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) last Thursday.  The vote was 78 in
favor and 17 voting against confirmation.  Burwell is moving into the position from her
post as the director of the Office of Management and Budget where she was easily
confirmed in a 96-0 vote last April.

Civil Rights/Adoption – Congressional Briefing on Adoption to be Held on
June 11

The Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus, Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute,
National Council on Disability, Child Welfare League of America, National Association
of Social Workers, and the American Psychological Association are sponsoring a
Congressional briefing on adoption policy and practice on June 11.   The briefing,
titled “Rocking the Cradle: Ensuring the Rights of Parents with Disabilities and Their
Children,” will highlight the findings of recent report by the National Council on
Disability (NCD). The NCD report showed that the foster care and adoption systems
have discriminatory pra ctices that prevent prospective parents with disabilities the
opportunity to becomefoster parents and adopt children.


Tony Paulauski
Executive Director
The Arc of Illinois
20901 S. LaGrange Rd. Suite 209
Frankfort, IL 60423
815-464-1832 (OFFICE)
 
Tony@www.thearcofil.org