Recent Major Events
Budget – House bills introduced to change budgeting process
House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) and others have introduced legislation (H.R. 3577) that would move the federal budget from an annual to a biennial cycle. House Rules Committee Chairman David Dreier (R-CA) introduced his own biennial budgeting bill, H.R. 114. Proponents claim having a 2-year budget cycle will lead to more thoughtful and deliberative budgeting and allow more time for Congressional oversight. Many budget experts believe that the disadvantages of biennial budgeting outweigh the advantages and could adversely affect federally funded programs. Visit the CBPP website
to learn more about H.R. 3577 and the risks of biennial budgeting.
Major Events Ahead
State of the Union – An America Built to Last
On Tuesday, January 24, President Obama will deliver his State of the Union address. The address will air at 9 pm Eastern Standard Time. You can watch live at WhiteHouse.gov/SOTU.
Social Security/Long Term Services and Supports – House to take up CLASS repeal
On Wednesday, January 25, the House of Representatives is expected to begin consideration of legislation that would repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) program, H.R. 1173. Two House committees, the Ways and Means Committee and the Energy and Commerce Committee, have already approved this repeal bill. The CLASS program was created to help working adults prepare for their future in the event they need help maintaining independence in the community. It was also intended to take the pressure off Medicaid, so that Medicaid can better serve the needs of people with disabilities and low income communities. The Arc believes the CLASS program must be reformed, not repealed. Repealing the program would remove any incentive for Congress to address the real and growing crisis in long term services and supports.
Social Security – House to hold hearing on Disability Waste, Fraud, and Abuse
On Tuesday, January 24, the House Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Social Security will hold a hearing on “combatting disability waste, fraud, and abuse.” The hearing will focus on the Social Security Administration’s efforts to minimize improper payments and protect taxpayers’ dollars from waste, fraud, and abuse. This will be the second hearing in a series on “Securing the Future of the Social Security Disability Insurance Program.” Live and archived video of the hearing will be available on the Committee web site.
Register Now for the 2012 Disability Policy Seminar
Make your plans to attend the 2012 Disability Policy Seminar in Washington, D.C. April 23-25 and take advantage of special early registration and hotel rates until March 20. This event is the biggest and best opportunity for advocates to advance the grassroots movement for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. But this year it is even more important to make your mark in Washington as we approach a pivotal presidential election in November. This unique platform offers you the opportunity to come together with other advocates, learn about the issues, and speak with your elected officials about what is important to you. Get the best rates and availability for the event at the Grand Hyatt in downtown Washington, D.C. and find out more about this year’s program at www.disabilitypolicyseminar.org.
Hosted by: The Arc, United Cerebral Palsy (UCP), Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD), American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (AAIDD), National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD), and Self Advocates Becoming Empowered (SABE)
Education – ADA Amendments Act
The Office for Civil Rights in the Department of Education issued a letter and Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) document to school districts that explains the changes made to broaden the definition of “disability” by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and implications for elementary and secondary schools. The ADAAA amended the ADA and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Essentially, the letter and FAQ document advise school districts to protect the rights of all children with disabilities, including those who, in the past, may not have been considered to have a disability but who, under the expanded definition of disability under the ADAAA, may now qualify as a student with a disability.
Medicaid – Health care costs for dual eligibles
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released an Informational Bulletin concerning billing individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dual eligibles) for health care costs not covered by either program. The Qualified Medicare Beneficiary (QMB) is a Medicaid program that pays for Medicare premiums, deductibles and co-payments for individuals with low incomes. Providers of Medicare services are prohibited from billing QMBs for deductibles, coinsurance, or copayments.
CMS released an Informational Bulletin concerning Section 3309 of the Affordable Care Act which eliminates Medicare Part D cost-sharing for full benefit dual eligible individuals receiving home and community-based services in lieu of institutional services. Section 3309 became effective on January 1, 2012.