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Showing posts from June 17, 2018

What to expect in the Senate farm bill floor debate, including amendments to watch out for

From CBPP ( Center on Budget and Policy Priorities): We expect the Senate to start with a procedural vote on the farm bill on Monday evening, which means the floor debate will start on Tuesday. Voting on amendments will likely run from Tuesday through Thursday afternoon, with a final vote on passage on Thursday afternoon if things go as expected.   As we shared above, we are very concerned that amendments could be offered during the Senate floor debate to cut SNAP or make harmful changes that would take away food assistance from struggling families who need help. And if we lose on any Senate amendments that enact harmful policies already contained in the House farm bill, it will be much harder to undo the damage when the House and Senate are negotiating the final bill.   The Senate floor debate will be very fluid, and things will likely happen with short notice. We will probably see a lot of amendments filed on the bill next week, but it will be hard to know in advance which of them

ABLE Age Adjustment Act would make more people eligible for ABLE accounts

Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Accounts allow people with disabilities to save for their future and pay for disability-related expenses without jeopardizing their access to public benefits. Currently, the accounts are only available to people who were diagnosed with a disability before the age of 26, but legislation currently before Congress could change that.   The ABLE Age Adjustment Act (SB 817 / HR 1874) would increase the age limit to age 46, allowing many more people with disabilities to save for housing, healthcare, transportation, and other expenses. You can read the full text of the bills here:  . (The bills are identical.)   If this issue is important to you, you may wish to contact your representatives in Congress with your opinion.   Call the  Capitol switchboard  at (202) 224- 3121

Budget Proposal Would Allow States To Drop Medicaid Transportation Benefits Across The Entire Program

This blog was  coauthored  by Families USA Senior Policy Director Eliot Fishman and Dr. Marsha Simon,  an expert in legislative strategy, nonprofit management, and public policy research, with more than 20 years of experience, including nearly a decade working for the U.S. Senate. originally appeared in  Health Affairs.   The Trump administration’s fiscal year 2019 budget request signals that the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services (CMS) intends to use regulatory authority to allow states to drop the Medicaid non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT) benefit. This benefit has been part of Medicaid since the program’s inception in 1966. Changing that would be a stunning precedent, reversing more than 50 years of Medicaid policy.  Barriers To Access  Many low-income individuals do not have access to affordable transportation to get to and from medical appointments. For them, transportation issues can be a major barrier to needed health care. The requirement for states t

National Call-In Day to Celebrate Olmstead Anniversary June 22

June 22 marks the 19th anniversary of the Olmstead decision, which recognized the right of people with disabilities to live, work, and participate in their communities. Join disability advocates around the country on this day for a National Call-In Day to support community living and urge your Senators and Representative to co-sponsor the EMPOWER Care Act to extend the Money Follows the Person program and help make Olmstead a reality! Call the Capitol Switchboard at  (202) 224-3121  or (202) 224-3091 (TTY) and ask to be connected to your Senators and Representative. Visit the  National Call-In Day to Celebrate Olmstead Anniversary  web page hosted by the Center for Public Representation for a guide to using the Capitol Switchboard, a call script, and additional talking points. Join the  Facebook Event  to get the latest updates. Social Media Use hashtag  #FundMFP  in your posts and tag your Members of Congress ( Senate Twitter Handles  |  House Twitter Handles ) Sample pos

$7 billion in CHIP cuts?

This column is by  Joan Alker ,  Executive Director of the Georgetown University Center for Children and Families (CCF). It was originally published on  Say Ahhh! , the CCF blog.   Following the bipartisan agreement earlier this year to extend CHIP funding for  ten years , it was more than a bit surprising  to hear  that the Trump Administration wants to cut CHIP funds. Of course, there have been  news reports  for several weeks that the Administration wanted to go back on the deal agreed to under the  Bipartisan Budget Act  in an effort to cut spending. But it was news to us to hear that almost half of the proposed $15 billion in rescissions would come from CHIP funds. What are these CHIP funds, and how would these proposed changes impact kids? Two billion dollars in cuts would come from the Child Enrollment Contingency Fund. The Contingency Fund is a “rainy day” fund put in place to help prevent states from running out of money. Before the Contingency Fund came about, if a s

Indiana court pilot project helps woman gain independence

June 18, 2018 Marilyn Odendahl Jamie Beck’s journey from being confined in a nursing home to living in her own apartment and working a full-time job was aided by a pilot project funded by the American Bar Association and run through the Indiana state court administration. Eight years ago, Beck, a woman diagnosed with a mild intellectual disability and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, had been put into a nursing home in Richmond because she had no one to care for her. Both her parents and stepfather had died, leaving the then-19-year-old alone and without support. She was adjudged by the Wayne Circuit Court to be incapacitated and was appointed a permanent legal guardian. However, last week, Beck, now 27, made Indiana history. She became the first Hoosier to have her guardianship terminated in favor of a supported decision making agreement.  “This is really cool because guardianship is a significant infringement on somebody’s rights,” said Melissa Keyes, legal dire

Aged & Disabled Waiver approval

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has approved Indiana’s Home and Community-Based Services Aged & Disabled Waiver, effective  July 1, 2018 . With this approval Indiana will continue to provide an array of home and community-based services that assist Medicaid beneficiaries to live in their homes and communities. Please visit the Division of Aging web page,  available by clicking here , to review the Aged & Disabled Waiver amendments and approved waiver. Please direct any questions and/or concerns to Darcy Tower, director of provider relations, via email at  or (317) 234-2944. Of interest to our families: • Respite—Updated service definition for conciseness and person centered language and removed the requirement that respite take place in the caregiver or participant home, clarified differences between the service definition and the service standard, split documentation standards between provider and care manager. Home Modi

Interpreter and Interpreting Agencies’ announcement

The Indiana Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services is modifying its process for coordinating and scheduling interpreting services. Beginning  July 1, 2018 , DHHS will be coordinating and scheduling interpreting services for eligible Vocational Rehabilitation participants who are receiving VR assistance with interpreters for participation in post-secondary training during the 2018-2019 school year. Luna Language Services will continue to provide coordinating and scheduling of interpreting services, CART services, and Video Remote Interpreting services for all other assignments. DHHS is seeking collaboration with interpreting service agencies and independent interpreters for VR college students in your area. If you are interested in working directly with DHHS to fill interpreting jobs for eligible VR participants attending post-secondary training, please complete and submit the following documentation as soon as possible, and no later than  July 13, 2

Focus Group for 18-30 year olds with special health care needs or disabilities

Family Voices is looking for youth and young adults from 18-30 years old interested in participating in a focus group to discuss what topics would be most important to include in a national research agenda about health for CYSHCN. The focus group will discuss a  draft of questions related to improving the health and quality of life for CYSHCN, and will be looking for input on missing questions, wording of questions, and relevance to today’s CYSHCN. The focus group will be held by video conference in the second or third week in July (to be determined), and last an hour. We’ll pay $100 to each participant.  Interested applicants can contact Melissa Vickers, at .  This focus group activity is part of the CYSHCNet Project, led by the University of Colorado at Denver, and funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau through 2022. Family Voices is a partner in the CYSHCNet, helping to ensure partnerships with families at all levels, including overs

Public Hearing on DD bracelets

Notice of Public Hearing July 3 The Indiana State Department of Health will hold a public hearing on July 3, 2018, 10:00 a.m., on a proposed rule to add  410 IAC 36  to establish application requirements for persons obtaining an Indiana developmental disability bracelet and identification card. The meeting will take place at  2 North Meridian Street, Indianapolis, Indiana .