Major Events Last Week
Social Security – Bill Introduced on Social Security Office Closings
Rep. Brian Higgins (D-NY) and 5 co-sponsors introduced H.R. 4082
, the Social Security Administration Accountability Act of 2012. The bill would require the Social Security Administration (SSA) to submit an annual budget estimate directly to the President and Congress. The bill also halts any pending closures or consolidations of SSA field and hearing offices and establishes a public process for SSA to follow in considering any future office closures. Pending closures or consolidations may only resume after SSA reports to Congress on the process for selecting field or hearing offices to close or consolidate. The bill was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means.
Medicaid – Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California
The United States Supreme Court remanded the California Medicaid challenge, Douglas v. Independent Living Center of Southern California et al
., to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, delaying a decision on whether Medicaid providers and beneficiaries can bring lawsuits against state Medicaid officials. The Douglas case arose when California severely reduced Medicaid provider rates. Medicaid providers and beneficiaries sued, arguing that the rate reduction violated federal law. Since the Supreme Court agreed to hear the case, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) determined that California’s rate reductions did not violate federal law. The Ninth Circuit will rehear the case to determine if Medicaid providers and beneficiaries can maintain their cause of action in light of the decision by CMS.
Medicaid – HHS Releases Final Medicaid Waiver Transparency Rules
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has finalized rules to make the Section 1115 waiver approval process more transparent on the state and federal level. These waivers have been used to introduce managed care and other types of reforms to health care in states. The Arc and other Medicaid advocates sought these requirements to make the process more open and allow advocates to provide input on proposals. To read more information about the rules, visit the CMS website
Make Your Mark in March!
March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month and your opportunity to spread the word about our cause. We’ve got the power to make our mark on the upcoming election if we come together to educate the candidates on our issues and rally others in our community to support people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Find out more about The Arc’s “Don’t Cut Our Lifeline”
campaign and get important public policy information online
so you can join us in putting the issues important to people with I/DD front and center on the campaign trail this year.
The White House Disability Group – Monthly call this week
In order to keep the public informed about various disability issues the White House has been hosting monthly calls. To learn about future calls, request to be added to the White House Disability email distribution list, by visiting the White House website
. The next call will be this week on February 29
These calls are open to the public and offer a unique opportunity to hear about important disability issues from individuals who work in the Federal government. You can also submit questions before the call at disability.gov
To participate in this week’s call see the information below: