Disability Policy News In Brief

November 30, 2015

AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday
November 30, 2015   |   Vol. XV, Issue 49
AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday, FacebookAUCD, Disability Policy News InBrief, every Monday, TwitterDisability Policy News InBrief, every Monday, SharespaceAUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, YouTube list Tuesday Morning with LizspaceAUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday, Subscription formAUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday, ArchiveAUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday, RSS

Education/Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA)

Today, November 30, 2015, bipartisan leaders on the House Committee on Education and the Workforce and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions released the final legislative text for improving K-12 education and replacing No Child Left Behind. The final bill is being released after legislative proposals passed separately by the House and Senate in July and embodies the reforms agreed to by members serving on a joint conference committee earlier this month. The House-Senate conference committee approved the proposed reforms reflected in the final bill by a vote of 38 to 1.

To read the final bill, click here.

For more information, visit Education and Workforce 

While AUCD is still examining the text that was just released this morning, we are pleased to see that the accountability provisions are strengthened and many of the protections AUCD and other advocates sought to ensure that students with disabilities, including those with the most significant disabilities, are included remain in the final bipartisan compromise bill.  

The next step is for the full House and Senate to approve the final conference bill, which will occur on Wednesday, December 2 for the House and next week for the Senate.  


Last week, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) issued a notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM) for its 2017 Benefit and Payment Parameters (BPP) rule. Every fall CMS publishes a BPP proposed rule, which is finalized in the spring for the following year. The purpose of the yearly NPRM is to make improvements to the ACA marketplace that will provide continued choice for consumers and a more accessible market of affordable, quality health plans. It is called BPP because it includes benefit parameters for qualified health plans and payment parameters for the Affordable Care Act's (ACA) premium stabilization programs. It is also an omnibus rule (i.e., a bill passed by Congress that incorporates parts of many different legislative actions) that CMS uses to amend and update all of its rules governing the ACA marketplaces. AUCD will be working in partnership with its CCD Health Taskforce to provide comment on this proposed rule. 

For a more detailed list of proposals in the rule, visit CMS 

Click here for more information on the 2017 Actuarial Value Calculator used to determine levels of coverage. 

Achieving Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act

Last week, a notice was sent out by the Treasury Department and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) identifying how they intend to respond to comments submitted regarding the ABLE Act. Specifically, commenters noted that the following three requirements for qualified ABLE programs, in the proposed regulations, would create significant barriers to establishing such programs: (1) the requirement to establish safeguards to categorize distributions from ABLE accounts, (2) the requirement to request the taxpayer identification number of each contributor to an ABLE account, and (3) the requirements for disability certifications, and in particular the requirement to process disability certifications with signed physicians' diagnoses. 

 The Treasury Department and the IRS intend that the final regulations, when issued, will address these three identified issues in the manner indicated in the above notice. AUCD will continue to monitor this.

40th Anniversary of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)

Yesterday marked the 40th anniversary of the IDEA. On Nov. 29, 1975, President Gerald Ford signed into law the Education for All Handicapped Children Act (Public Law 94-142), now known as the IDEA. In adopting this landmark civil rights measure, Congress opened public school doors for millions of children with disabilities and laid the foundation of the country's commitment to ensuring that students with disabilities have opportunities to develop their talents and contribute to their communities. 

Today, according to the 2013 Child Count, "over 62 percent of students with disabilities are in general education classrooms 80 percent or more of their school day", and early intervention services are being provided to "over 340,000 infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families". 

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

For this week Liz Weintraub, AUCD's advocacy specialist and host of Tuesday with Liz: Disability Policy for All, will interview Janet Lord of the Harvard Project on Disability. In celebration of International of People with Disabilities, which is on December 3, Liz and Janet spoke about the Convention on the Rights of People with Disabilities (CRPD) as well as other international issues. Also, in case you missed last week's edition, Liz interviewed Chairman Tom Wheeler of the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).


For more from AUCD, follow @AUCDNews and like AUCD on Facebook

For updates from our Executive Director Andy Imparato, follow @AndyAUCD.

For more policy news, follow Kim on Twitter at @kmusheno

For definitions of terms used in In Brief, please see AUCD's Glossary of Legislative Terms 


AUCD | 1100 Wayne Avenue, Suite 1000 | Silver Spring | MD | 20910