Thursday, June 15, 2017

Federal news from The Arc

Action Alert from The Arc: Tell your senators, no cuts to Medicaid

Family Support - Lifespan Respite Reauthorization Bills Introduced

Rep. Jim Langevin (D-RI) and Rep. Gregg Harper (R-MS) introduced the Lifespan Respite Reauthorization Act (H.R. 2535) on May 18, 2017. The companion bill (S. 1188) was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME), and Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) the same day.

The Lifespan Respite Care Program, through grants to states, helps build coordinated state lifespan respite systems, helps family caregivers pay for respite or find funding sources, encourages development of new and innovative community and faith based respite opportunities, and trains respite workers and volunteers. The Arc supports this legislation that would reauthorize the program through 2022 at an authorization level of $75 million over five years ($15 million each year).

New Report: Medicaid Per Capita Caps Would Devastate HCBS

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities released a report detailing the likely impact of the Medicaid per capita caps in the American Health Care Act on home and community based services (HCBS). The report notes HCBS are optional, but are a large share of overall state spending and therefore they are likely targets for cuts. Additionally, the report notes that per capita caps would exacerbate direct care workforce shortages by limited federal funds available for provider reimbursement.

The Arc continues its efforts to fight this harmful proposal. To watch the latest in The Arc's video series, see Meet Bryan and Meet Soojung and Alice about the critical importance of health care and Medicaid to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. Please share with your networks.

Status of health care bill: Cost report expected this week
With the House passage of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), the bill is now being reviewed in the Senate and the Congressional Budget Office is expected to provide cost information this week.
 Major areas of disagreement between Senate Republicans include the structure of tax credits, Medicaid per-capita caps, Medicaid expansion, essential health benefits, and pre-existing conditions. The Arc has released a fact sheet on the harmful impact of the AHCA on people with disabilities.

Action alert: Call Senators Murray and Cantwell

  • 202-224-3441
 Talking points:
  • Please OPPOSE any legislation that will cut or cap Medicaid
  • I am a person with an intellectual or developmental disability (or a family member of someone with I/DD, or a professional in the disability field)
  • I (or my family member or my clients) depend(s) on Medicaid supports to live in my/our community.
  • These types of cuts would be devastating to me/us and other people with disabilities and their families.