Disability Policy News

February 10, 2020

Disability Policy News logo, every Monday, from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD) Disability Policy News logo, every Monday, from the Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
                February 10, 2020   |   Vol. MMXX, Issue 6

Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services CMS logo


The House passed a resolution expressing disapproval of the Trump administration's harmful actions towards Medicaid (H Res 826). This is in response to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services announcement of a recent block grant proposal.  

Plain Language:

  • The House of Representatives does not like how the federal government is giving states a chance to change how Medicaid is paid for.

What this means to you:

  • The waivers would directly hurt people with Medicaid by taking away coverage and access to needed care by cutting federal funding. People with disabilities, children, and older adults will be affected.  

Action Steps:

  • Read CMS' Healthy Adult Opportunity Fact Sheet.
  • Read AUCD's Policy Talk Blog in response to this announcement.
  • Contact your state legislature, state Medicaid Directors, and Governors to share your concern on the impact this would have on people's to access healthcare.

flag of puerto ricoTerritories

The House passed the  Emergency Supplemental Appropriations for Disaster Relief and Puerto Rico Disaster Tax Relief Act (HR 5687) on Friday, February 8th.  The package includes tax provisions directed at Puerto Rico and other territories that are estimated to cost $16.1 billion in annual deficits over the coming decade. Those include expanded earned income and child tax credits.

The White House, which has been slow to release existing aid to Puerto Rico, issued a veto threat this week. Republican opposition in the Senate and the White House likely mean it won't go much further.

Plain Language:

  • A bill to provide money to help with disasters in our Territories passed the House but probably will not pass the Senate or become law.

What this means to you:

  • People living in Territories will not have access to additional disaster relief.  

Action Steps:

  • Contact your Senators to share your concern on the impact this would have on people in the territories.

Logo of House Ed and Labor Committee on blue background. Text: Education and Labor Committee Chairman Bobby ScottFamily Medical Leave

This Tuesday, February 11, the House Education & Labor Committee's Workforce Protections Subcommittee is holding a hearing on "Balancing Work, Health, and Family: The Case for Expanding the Family and Medical Leave Act." Witnesses and members are expected to discuss both the need for a strong national paid leave program and the need to expand the Family and Medical Leave Act's (FMLA) eligibility rules. The focus of this hearing will be the Family Medical Leave Modernization Act (HR 5456) and the FAMILY Act (HR 1185).

Plain Language:

  • The House of Representatives is having a hearing to help families be able to take time off work.  

What this means to you:

  • The proposed legislation would create a national paid leave insurance program, wage replacement and protections helping to support individuals in caring for family members with disabilities.

Action Steps:

child with arrow to the right to older personAging

The Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020 builds upon both the House-passed Dignity in Aging Act (H.R. 4334) and the Senate-introduced Modernization of the Older Americans Act Amendments (S. 3057). Consideration on the Senate floor is likely this year, needing final approval from the House. This would reauthorize and update the Older Americans Act. There are parts that improve caregiver supports for older caregivers (55+) of adults with disabilities and extend the RAISE Act for one year.

Plain language:

  • This bill would help Americans and people with disabilities as they get older and support caregivers.

What this means to you:

Action Steps:

  • Contact your Senators to sign on as co-sponsors: United States Capitol switchboard: (202) 224-3121.

Image of a bag of gocercies. Text: SNAP Supplemental Nutrition Assistance ProgramFood Assistance

The House Committee on Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy met last week to revisit the changes proposed by the Trump administration to the nutritional assistance program known as SNAP. A final rule was issued in December to limit states' ability to expand SNAP eligibility, a move that could adversely affect nearly 700,000 households with children.

Plain Language:

  • The House of Representatives had a hearing on a new rule that will hurt people of color, people with disabilities, and poor people who need help buying food.

What this means to you:

  • Thirty-six states currently have waivers in place for SNAP time limits for areas where unemployment is high. The effects of the new rule will fall hardest on people of color, people without higher education, and people living in rural areas.

Action Steps:

four children male and femaleChildcare

Last week, two House committees held hearings on the economic impact of parents without access to quality child care. The Committee on Small Business Subcommittee on Rural Development, Agriculture, Trade, and Entrepreneurship held, "Taking Care of Business: How Childcare is Important for Regional Economies" and the Education and Labor Committee held "Solving America's Child Care Crisis: Supporting Parents, Children, and the Economy."

Plain Language:

  • The House of Representatives had hearings to help families take care of children.

What this means to you:

  • Parents of kids with disabilities and parents with disabilities have greater difficulty finding child care options.

Action Steps:

checklistCampaign 2020

Former Illinois Rep. Joe Walsh has ended his campaign for the Republican presidential nomination after winning just 1% of the vote in Iowa's GOP caucuses.


DPSDisability Policy Seminar

Registration is now open for the Disability Policy Seminar and the AUCD Emerging Leaders Policy Forum.  Learn more information about the events.

You do need to register for both events if you plan to attend the Sunday AUCD Policy Forum before DPS.

AUCD Policy Talklogo of AUCD Policy Talk

With Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' new #Medicaid block grant announcement, hear from Rylin Rodgers, Director of Public Policy at AUCD, on why we should worry and what we can do at #AUCDPolicyTalk. #CripTheVote

Action Steps:

AUCD logoLove Policy? We do too!

Check out AUCD's new policy resource, a one-page fact sheet to help explain AUCD's policy efforts, and engage with us today!


image of person writing. Text: Fellowship
AUCD Disability Policy Fellowship
Applications are open for the full year (June 2020-May 2021) AUCD Disability Policy Fellowship. Persons with disabilities or family members, and persons from culturally diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.

Tuesdays with Liz: Disability Policy for All Liz Weintraub Tuesdays With Liz

Congressman Joe Kennedy (D-MA) tells Liz why therapy should be treated the same as going to any other doctor. Mental health parity matters! Learn more about the Behavior Health Coverage Transparency Act (HR 2874, S 1576).

Did you know? AUCD has a Mental Health Aspects of Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Group! Learn more and join today https://www.aucd.org/template/page.cfm?id=1014.


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