Capitol Insider
for the Week of December 17, 2012
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Action Alerts
Protect Disability Programs in End of Year Budget Decisions

Major Events Last Week
Education – Department of Education releases data on high school graduation rates
The Department of Education (ED) released several documents concerning high school graduation rates. The first document contains state-by-state graduation data for the 2010-2011 school year broken down by subgroups, including students with disabilities. This is the first time that data have been available to allow comparisons across states and across subgroup populations. The graduation rates for students with disabilities range from a low of 23% in Mississippi and Nevada to a high of 84% in South Dakota. The department also released a letter from Secretary Arne Duncan to State School Officers that reiterates ED’s policy on the inclusion of graduation rates within the Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) flexibility waivers. ED also released a best practices document about incorporating graduation rates into state accountability systems.

Housing – Senate Held Hearing on The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rental Housing Assistance Programs
On December 11, the Senate Housing, Transportation, and Community Development Subcommittee of the Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee held a hearing on “Streamlining and Strengthening the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s (HUD) Rental Housing Assistance Programs.” The Honorable Sandra B. Henriquez, Assistant Secretary for Public and Indian Housing at HUD, testified. The hearing was a continuation from August. Visit the Committee’s web site to view opening statements, testimony, and video.
Medicaid – News for individuals who are dually eligible for Medicare and Medicaid in Ohio
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) negotiated the third Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Ohio to test a new model for providing person-centered, coordinated care to individuals who are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid (dually eligible). Ohio’s demonstration will cover individuals who are dually eligible in 29 counties and will begin in September 2013. Over 100,000 dually eligible individuals will be eligible to receive their health care and long term services through managed care. Individuals with developmental disabilities, who reside in intermediate care facilities for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ICFs/ID) or receive services through a Medicaid waiver, will not be eligible for the program. The companies chosen by Ohio to manage the program are Molina Healthcare, Aetna, UnitedHealthGroup, the Buckeye Community Health Plan run by Centene, and an alliance between Humana and CareSource, a non-profit health plan. People will be able to leave the program at any time or choose another plan. Ohio follows Massachusetts and Washington in negotiating MOUs with CMS.
Capitol Insider Schedule
Due to the upcoming holidays, Capitol Insider will be sent out only as needed over the next two weeks, returning to normal weekly emails on Monday, January 7, 2013.  If there is any breaking news out of DC, we will be sending you action alerts.  You can also stay up to date by checking the Capitol Insider blog and The Arc’s blog.
Health/Prevention – CDC to hold webinar on Health and Disability Tomorrow
On December 18, 2012 at 1:00 pm EST, the CDC will offer a free webinar entitled “Public Health Grand Rounds: Where in health is disability? Public health practices to include people with disabilities.” Staff from the CDC’s National Center on Birth Defects’ Division of Human Development and Disability will join a panel of other public health experts to:

  • Describe who people with disabilities are, and why they are important to public health
  • Present data demonstrating health differences and risk factors of poor health for people with disabilities
  • Demonstrate physical activity programs implemented by CDC’s Arthritis program to enable people to live well with functional limitations
  • Highlight CDC state grantees’ experience in modifying existing health programs to accommodate people with disabilities
  • Demonstrate best practices for the inclusion of disability in national public health organizations

You can also participate and promote disability and health in advance of the event on Twitter – just
make sure to use the hashtag: #cdcgrandrounds. To view the live webcast, visit the CDC website.
Put a Face on Medicaid, SSI, Social Security
As Congress reconvenes for a post-election session where potential changes or cuts to programs like Medicaid, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), and Social Security may be put on the table, we need your help to put a face on the importance of these programs by sharing lifeline stories about individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).
The Arc’s national office needs stories from self-advocates, parents, and other family members, chapters of The Arc, other service providers, and friends. We have to put a face on programs like Medicaid, SSI, and Social Security in order to convince Congress to protect these programs from devastating cuts during budget negotiations. More than 200 stories have been submitted from 22 states.   This is a great start, but it is critical that we receive sufficient stories from across the country.
Please share this survey with your members, the families you serve, and other organizations in your community so that we can gather as many stories as possible, and quickly, so that The Arc can help protect these lifeline programs.


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