Disability Policy News In Brief

October 15, 2018

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October 15, 2018   |   Vol. XV, Issue 183
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Congressional Recess

Both houses of Congress are on recess through the midterm elections. This means all members of the House and Senate will be in their districts until November 13. Connecting while they are home campaigning is a great way to show that you are interested in partnering for good policy.
This issue of In Brief includes several topics you are encouraged to connect with your members about. You can use the campaign period as a way to raise issues you care about not only with the incumbent, but also with those running to represent you. 

Action Steps:

  • Call your lawmakers' district offices and ask for appointments with your Representatives 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.



In support of your efforts preparing to vote on November 6, we share updated resources from our friends at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law and their partners:

Action Steps:

  • Plan and prepare to vote and support others in voting on November 6!


Community Living

The RAISE Family Caregivers Act (H.R. 3759) directed the establishment of the Family Caregiving Advisory Council to provide recommendations to the Secretary of Health and Human Services on effective models of both family caregiving and support to family caregivers, as well as improving coordination across federal government programs.

The nomination period for individuals to serve as the 15 voting members of the council is now open. Candidates should reflect the diversity of family caregivers and people who receive support.

Action Steps:

  • Submit nominations by emailing them to: RAISEAct@acl.hhs.gov (specify the name of the nominee in the email subject line).
  • Mail or Express Delivery: Family Caregiving Advisory Council, Administration for Community Living, 330 C Street SW, Washington DC 20201. 
  • Nominations must be received or postmarked by Monday, December 3, 2018.

Nomination packages must include:

  • A nomination letter not to exceed one (1) page that provides the reason(s) for nominating the individual, the constituency they represent (from the list above; may be more than one), and the nominee's particular relevant experience and/or professional expertise;
  • Contact information for the nominee (name, title (if applicable), addres, phone and email address);
  • The nominee's resume (not to exceed two (2) pages) if the nomination is based on their professional capacity or qualifications. A resume is optional otherwise.



On October 17, the Senate voted on a resolution of disapproval that would have nullified a Trump administration rule that expanded the amount of time that consumers can keep short-term health insurance plans, which do not have to comply with all of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act. While the measure did not pass, it forced members to take a position on the topic in an election year.

Action Step:

  • Click take a position to learn how your Senators voted. Follow up with them about their vote and educate them about the challenges of adequate coverage for people with disabilities, including those who may acquire a disability newly while under this type of plan.


Civil Rights

Public Charge Rule

The proposed changes to the public charge rule were officially published in the Federal Register on October 10. The comment period will last until December 10, 2018. Our friends at Rooted in Rights have created a great video that explains the impact to people with disabilities.

Action Steps:


State Specific Actions

Individuals and organizations in the following states are encouraged to share their voices by giving comment on proposed changes to Medicaid programs in their states. Issues and populations impacted vary since Medicaid is made up of complex programs in each state.


New Hampshire

North Dakota


  • Michigan's statewide HCBS transition plan is out for public comments through October 26. The public notice can be found here
  • https://www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-71547_2943-334724--,00.html 


  • Missouri has submitted an amendment to the Gateway to Better Health demonstration which would authorize the provision of a limited substance use disorder benefit and would update the standard terms and conditions to clarify that the state is not required to adhere to the rebate requirements of Section 1927 of the Social Security Act. Comments must be submitted by October 30.


  • Tennessee has posted an amendment to the TennCare II demonstration which would impose a work/community engagement requirement on parents and caretakers, unless they are exempt. The state is accepting comments through October 26.


Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All

Your opinions matter - share them! Liz's testimony on Capitol Hill during the Judge Kavanaugh confirmation hearings made it clear that people with disabilities have a platform. Liz reflects on her testimony, your support, and what you can do to make sure your voice is heard.


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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