Disability Policy News In Brief

September 19, 2016

AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday AUCD, Disability Policy News In Brief, every Monday
September 19, 2016   |   Vol. XV, Issue 90
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


Congressional Republicans and Democrats have not yet reached agreement on a continuing resolution (CR) that will fund the government beyond September 30.  It is expected that Congress will pass a CR sometime this week and adjourn immediately after passage.  Emergency funding for Zika is expected to be part of the CR.


On September 15, the Advisory Committee on Increasing Employment for Individuals with Disabilities delivered its final report to the US Secretary of Labor as well as to the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, and the House of Representatives Committee on Education and the Workforce. Created by the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) of 2014, this committee was charged with developing recommendations to improve the employment participation rate of individuals with disabilities across the nation. The recommendations are intended to increase opportunities for competitive integrated employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and other disabilities. AUCD is pleased with the outcome and recommendations within the final report and look forward to working with these committees and the Administration to use these recommendations to develop public policies and implement the recommendations.

Social Security

On September 15, AUCD staff attended a hearing held by the Special Committee on Aging: Maximizing Your Social Security Benefits: What you need to know. Witnesses included Charles Jeszeck - Director of Education, Workforce, and Income Security at the U.S. Government Accountability Office, Virginia Reno - Deputy Commissioner for Retirement and Disability Policy at the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA), William Meyer - CEO of Social Security Solutions, Inc., and Sita Nataraj Slavov - Professor Of Public Policy at Schar School of George Mason University. During the hearing, committee members and witnesses addressed a range of topics including: the extent to which people understand Social Security rules affecting their retirement benefits, and information provided by SSA regarding informed claiming decisions.


Career and Technical Education (CTE) - Perkins Act Reauthorization

The House and Senate are both working on bills to reauthorize the Carl D. Perkins Career and Technical Education Act. The House of Representatives voted to approve H.R. 5587, the "Strengthening Career and Technical Education for the 21st Century Act," by a 405-5 margin.  In the Senate, HELP Committee Chairman Lamar Alexander released a draft bill to reauthorize the law.  Unfortunately, neither bill include many of the recommendations put forward by AUCD and other Education advocates.  In addition both bills contain provisions that would weaken the authority of the Department of Education to oversee the implementation and enforcement of the law. 

AUCD sent a letter to Chairman Alexander urging the Senate committee to work in a more bipartisan and collaborative fashion to reauthorize the law.  AUCD also urged the committee to include more of the recommendations put forward by the CCD Education Task Force.  The CCD Education Task Force and members of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights also sent similar letters.  A markup of the Senate bill scheduled for Wednesday has now been postponed.

Health Care


Several new studies revealed significant declines in multiple measures of health care cost following the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, including average premiums, hospital admissions and the uninsured rate. A survey of employers issued by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Health Research and Educational Trust found that the average family premium for Americans with employer-sponsor health plans has increased at a significantly slower rate than before the Affordable Care Act was passed in 2010. Since that time, the premium has grown an average of 4.7 percent per year. In contrast, the average family premium grew by 7.9% per year from 2000 to 2010. Workers' contributions to their premiums have also increased by 4.7% annually, which is also a significantly slower rate than in 2000s, when they grew by 9.5% annually. These declines have enabled Medicare to spend $473 billion less as health care prices have increased at the slowest pace in fifty years. The Council of Economic Advisers estimates that the decline will translate into $3,600 in savings during 2016 for households whose members have employer-sponsored health plans, a population that comprises approximately 150 million Americans.

A report issued by the U.S. Census Bureau has also identified a decline in health care cost elsewhere, as new data finds that the national uninsured rate fell to an overall 8.6%, an all-time low figure. This shift occurred during the first quarter of 2016, following open enrollment at the end of the previous year. The Bureau's findings also reveal that the uninsured has fallen in all fifty states since 2013.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All                   

During this week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All, Liz interviews Joe Caldwell about the Money Follows the Person (MFP) grants.  In case you missed last week's edition of Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All, Liz interviewed Kelly Ethridge her experiences in the Post-Secondary Education Program at Texas A&M University. 



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