Federal Policy and Advocacy
Senate Votes to End Government Shut Down
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer announced Monday that he and Senate GOP leaders have reached a deal to reopen the government, and the chamber is on track to pass a plan to keep the government funded for three weeks. More here.
Family Support – RAISE Family Caregivers Act Awaiting President’s Signature
The Senate passed H.R. 3759, the Recognize, Assist, Include, and Engage (RAISE) Family Caregivers Act by voice vote on January 8. The Arc supports this bipartisan legislation introduced Senators Susan Collins (R-ME), Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), and Michael Bennet (D-CO) and Representatives Gregg Harper (R-MS), Kathy Castor (D-FL), Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM), and Elise Stefanik (R-NY) that calls for the development of a national strategy to support the nation’s more than 40 million caregivers. The RAISE Family Caregivers Act would bring together stakeholders from both the public and private sector to create an advisory body. This advisory body would then develop recommendations for how government, communities, providers, employers, and others can better recognize and support family caregivers.
Medicaid – CMS to Allow States to Impose Work Requirement for Medicaid Eligibility
On January 11, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued guidance about how states can require some Medicaid recipients to work in order to receive coverage. While the guidance requires states to exclude some people with disabilities from the requirement, it acknowledges that such an exception will not cover all people with disabilities. To learn more, read The Arc’s statement on the guidance.
Health/Medicaid – Senate Finance Committee Holds Hearing on HHS Secretary Nomination
On January 9, the Senate Finance Committee held a hearing on the nomination of Alexander Azar to be Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS). During the hearing, Azar stated that he supported elements of last year’s health care bills, including the repeal of Medicaid expansion and per capita caps on traditional Medicaid. HHS is the cabinet level department that administers most federal health and social service programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Affordable Care Act programs, Developmental Disabilities Act programs, Head Start, and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families. Additionally, it oversees the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Food and Drug Administration, and the National Institutes of Health. Visit the committee web site for more information, including archived video of the hearing.
Medicaid/LTSS – The Arc and Partners Hosts Congressional Briefing on Community Integration for People with Disabilities
The Arc and other disability rights organizations joined the offices of Representative Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Representative Jim Langevin (D-RI), and Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-IL) in hosting a briefing on January 11 for Congressional staff titled “Community Integration for People with Disabilities: Policy Opportunities and Challenges.” Julia Bascom, Executive Director of the Autistic Self Advocacy Network, moderated the briefing. Panelists were Cathy Ficker Terrill, national disability services expert and parent; Alison Barkoff, Director of Advocacy, Center for Public Representation; Nicole Jorwic, Director of Rights Policy, The Arc of the United States; Ken Capone, Public Policy Director, People on the go Maryland; and Pam Wright, a parent advocate.