Disability Policy News In Brief

August 6, 2018

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August 6, 2018   |   Vol. XV, Issue 173
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Members of the House and Senate are now on recess. The Senate will return for legislative business on August 13 and the House will return on September 4. A recess is not a vacation; they are district work days designed for you to be able to connect with your elected officials in their districts. Connecting during this recess is a great way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy in the long term. If your Senators or Representative voted in a way you agree with, taking the time to say thank you is a great way to build a long-term relationship. If your Senators or Representative voted in a way that you found challenging, connecting to follow up is the right way to build a relationship and share how you are willing to be a resource about the issues that are important to you.

Action Steps:

  • Call your lawmakers' district offices and ask for appointments with your Representative and Senators while they are home.
  • Attend a town hall.
  • Connect with them at a public event (parade, festival, etc.)
  • Submit an op-ed to your local paper.
  • Use Facebook or Twitter to engage your members of Congress.


Budget and Appropriations

On August 1, the Senate voted 92-6 to pass a four-bill, $154.2 billion Fiscal Year 2019 spending package (H.R. 6147) and adopted the conference report on the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019 (H.R. 5515). 


Autism CARES

The Autism CARES Act - which reauthorizes research, surveillance and education activities related to autism spectrum disorders through agencies within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services - is up for reauthorization.

Action Steps:

  • Invite your Members of Congress to join the Autism Caucus (link here for how to do this).
  • Encourage your Congressional delegation to support the reauthorization of the Autism CARES Act by calling, writing or scheduling a meeting. Be sure to thank your members for their support!


Health Care

Electronic Visit Verification (EVV)

On July 30, President Trump signed into law H.R. 6042, which delays the reduction in federal medical assistance percentage for Medicaid personal care services that are furnished without the presence of an electronic visit verification (EVV) system until January 1, 2020. 

Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has released guidance on EVV. Section 12006(a) of the 21st Century Cures Act requires states to implement EVV for all Medicaid personal care services (PCS) and home health services (HHS) that require an in-home visit by a provider. Disability leaders had been concerned about gaps in guidance that would protect consumers' privacy and civil rights. The additional time provides an opportunity for states and stakeholders to work together to address concerns.

Action Steps:

  • Reach out to your Congressional delegation to thank them for the delays in reduction. Share how important it is that the EVV process protect consumers' privacy and civil rights.
  • Contact your state's Medicaid agency to advocate for the implementation of EVV that protects consumers' privacy and civil rights. 


Civil Rights

Supreme Court Nomination of Judge Kavanaugh

For the first time in our 47-year history, AUCD has taken a position of opposition to a judicial nomination. Our opposition is based on Judge Kavanaugh's record and the threat that his appointment to the Supreme Court poses to civil rights and civil liberties of people with disabilities, including access to health care.

Action Steps:

  • Every Senator will have a vote, so contacting both your Senators to share your concerns (particularly about the civil rights of people with disabilities) is critical. Phone calls and in-person meetings (including in state offices) have the greatest impact.

Communication to the following Senators is especially important:

  • Doug Jones (D-AL), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND), Joe Donnelly (D-IN), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Susan Collins (R-ME), Dean Heller (R-NV).

We encourage you to activate your networks if you live in their states. If you are not in their states, consider reaching out to friends that live there in order to activate their voices.



  • Congress has until September 30 to either reauthorize or extend the current authorization of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The House passed a multi-year reauthorization bill (H.R. 4) in April, and the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee advanced its multi-year reauthorization bill more than a year ago.

Action Step:

  • Contact both your Senators and urge them to make sure that FAA reauthorization includes S. 1318, which expands provisions prohibiting discrimination by an air carrier against individuals with disabilities. 


Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

This week, Liz talks with civil rights lawyer David Goldberg, who previously worked for the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. He discusses what could happen to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) if President Trump's Supreme Court nominee, Judge Kavanaugh, is confirmed.

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

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

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

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