Its August Recess – Time to Advocate! Watch, Share and Take Action
The House and Senate are both on recess – the Senate for the first two weeks of August and the House all month. This means Members of Congress are home, back in their states and districts, and they need to hear about the issues that are important to you, like Medicaid, SSI, SNAP and much more.
Here are three ways you can advocate during August Recess:
Share: Spread the word about why advocacy matters! Share the advocacy video on Twitter and Facebook and say what you advocate for.
Take Action: Have five minutes? Call YOUR Members of Congress and ask them to support the Money Follows the Person program, which supports people with disabilities and seniors to move back into their communities after time in a nursing home. Then encourage your family and friends to call, too.
Have a free evening? Attend a town hall Meeting and ask questions about issues that are important to you. Showing up matters! Find out if your Members of Congress are hosting town hall events. Click here for the House and here for the Senate.
Thank you for your advocacy!
Major Recent Events
Health – HHS Releases Final Rule Regarding ACA Non-Compliant Short-Term Plans
On August 1, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) released a final rule regarding the sale of short-term limited duration insurance (STLDI). The final rule changes the duration limit from three months to less than 12 months and allows renewal for up to 36 months. STLDI plans are not required to cover the essential health benefits generally required by the Affordable Care Act (ACA), such as rehabilitative and habilitative services, and mental health and substance abuse services. Furthermore, these plans can deny coverage or charge more because of a pre-existing condition, rescind coverage, and impose lifetime and annual limits. The Arc remains concerned that the expansion of these plans will lead to healthier individuals exiting ACA marketplaces and drive up costs for people who need more comprehensive coverage, such as people with disabilities and chronic health conditions. Read The Arc’s statement here.
Tax Policy – House Outline for Additional Tax Cuts Released
House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) has released a Listening Session Framework for what is being referred to as “Tax Reform 2.0”. The outline includes making permanent the individual and small business tax cuts in the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017. Permanent extension of the individual and small business tax cuts, that are presently set to expire in 2025, would reduce revenues by $1 trillion over ten years – increasing pressure to cut vital federal programs for people with disabilities. Chairman Brady has stated that he intends to bring a legislative package to the floor in September. If both chambers pass a concurrent budget resolution for fiscal year 2019, it would be possible for the Senate to approve additional tax cut legislation by a simple majority.
Social Security/Employment – Senator Introduces Bill to Fund Paid Parental Leave by Cutting Social Security
On August 1, Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) introduced the Economic Security for New Parents Act (S.3345). This bill allows workers to receive 12 weeks paid leave after the birth or adoption of a child by reducing their Social Security retirement benefits. Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO) has indicated that she plans to introduce similar legislation in September. The bill does not provide medical leave or leave to care for a family member with a serious medical condition. The Arc opposes S.3345; read The Arc’s statement here.
The Arc of Illinois
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Frankfort, IL 60423